She's my bro

Joanne M. Despres jdespres at MERRIAM-WEBSTER.COM
Tue Jun 1 20:52:28 UTC 2004

I have to agree with Sam Clements -- this looks like an original to
me.  I see nothing in our files that duplicates it in any way.   I have
heard of an all-female theatrical troupe that calls itself "Five
Lesbian Brothers," but "brothers" in this context is a different word
entirely -- it's not the shortened form "bro,"  its reference is
particular rather than generic (and is intended to be surprising), and
it has a gender-bending connotation, whereas De Garmo's use of
"bro" de-genders the word and seems to imply that it's generic.

In other words, the evidence M-W has collected so far suggests
that "bro" and "brother" as applied to women are nonce-uses.


Joanne M. Despres, Senior Editor
Merriam-Webster, Inc.
jdespres at

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