Heard on The Judges: "bartend(e)ress"

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sun Jan 25 14:30:36 UTC 2009

At 12:41 AM -0500 1/25/09, Wilson Gray wrote:
>Spoken by Judge Joe Brown:
>"Oh. She was the _bartend(e)ress_ at a bikini bar."
>There are a lot of us more-mature men who are unable to get ready for
>the replacement of "barmaid" by "bartender" and who are, therefore,
>unconsciously forced to try to do something about it.

I have it on some authority that "barmaid" is sometimes taken as
denotationally distinct from "bartender" (and hence "bartendress").
The former may just be asked to serve drinks that the latter
concocts; the barmaid, on this usage, does not in fact tend bar.
Practice varies, though.


>All say, "How hard it is that we have to die"---a strange complaint to
>come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
>-Mark Twain
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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