"Masseuse" replacing "masseur"?

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue Oct 4 17:43:43 UTC 2005

At 9:11 AM -0400 10/4/05, Wilson Gray wrote:
>I keep hearing an annoying TV commercial aimed at women in which
>something is described as being "Dating-a-masseuse good!" Why would a
>supposedly-straight woman describe something as being as good as
>dating another woman? Has "masseur" fallen out of use? For me, it's
>ironic, because I'm old enough to remember when "masseur" was used for
>both men and women. My WAG is that "masseuse" became popular as the
>so-called "massage with a happy ending," i.e. orgasm, became popular

P.S.  I agree with that last point too, i.e. that the use of either
"masseuse" with a male referent or "male masseuse" may be especially
suggestive of the happy-ending variety of massage, the prevalence of
which has incidentally prompted the classic retronym "therapeutic


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