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

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sun Jan 25 17:34:05 UTC 2009

At 5:15 PM +0000 1/25/09, ronbutters at aol.com wrote:
>I agree with Larry that "barmaid" and "bartender" have different
>meanings. But why not just "bartender"? The -ess morpheme is still
>(unfortunately) conventional in "actress" but not needed elsewhere.

And there's still time to nip it in the bud here.  Google scores for

"She's a bartender"   1350
"She's a bartendress"      3


(Even the -ess of "actress" is falling into disrepute in some
quarters because of its markedness, as we've discussed here in the
past and as will likely be on at least some display at the Oscars.)

>------Original Message------
>From: Wilson Gray
>Sender: ADS-L
>To: ADS-L
>ReplyTo: ADS-L
>Subject: [ADS-L] Heard on The Judges: "bartend(e)ress"
>Sent: Jan 25, 2009 12:41 AM
>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.
>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
>Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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