"Masseuse" replacing "masseur"?
dave at WILTON.NET
Wed Oct 5 01:45:17 UTC 2005
> -----Original Message-----
> From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU]On Behalf
> Of Laurence Horn
> Sent: Tuesday, October 04, 2005 10:44 AM
> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
> Subject: Re: "Masseuse" replacing "masseur"?
> 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
While the term is used to make this distinction, the real prompt for
"therapeutic massage" is the acceptance by the medical community (and
insurance companies) that massage can have a medical benefit for certain
complaints and can be a valued source of pain relief--as opposed to the
traditional massages given for relaxation by legitimate spas and not ordered
by a doctor. The rise of "therapeutic massage" as a term has less to do with
"happy endings" than with insurance payments.
dave at wilton.net
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