Heard on The Jud es: "bartend(e)ress"

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sun Jan 25 19:37:54 UTC 2009

At 2:27 PM -0500 1/25/09, Bill Palmer wrote:
>How is "waitress" regarded? or "Priestess"?

See previous note on "waitress"--the question is regarded by whom?
As for "priestess", it evokes a different job description from
"priest".  A female Episcopal priest (there are such, right?) is not
a "priestess", who is in the AHD4's words 'a woman who presides over
religious rites, especially in pagan religions'.

>has the "-ix" ("avaitrix", "administratix") suffix completely disappeared
>from usage?

Largely, maybe because they're tricky to pluralize--and to spell! ;-)


>Bill Palmer
>----- Original Message -----
>From: <RonButters at AOL.COM>
>Sent: Sunday, January 25, 2009 1:31 PM
>Subject: Heard on The Jud es: "bartend(e)ress"
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>>Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>>Poster:       RonButters at AOL.COM
>>Subject:      Heard on The Jud es: "bartend(e)ress"
>>No doubt "chairess" never made the grade because it sounds dangerously
>>"choress" ('woman who does chores') or "charess" ('woman who burns
>>the end, all the problems of the world are surely related in some way
>>merger of nonhigh back vowels in America.
>>In a message dated 1/25/09 1:25:51 PM, Berson at ATT.NET writes:
>>>At 1/25/2009 01:08 PM, RonButters at AOL.COM wrote:
>>>>"Headmaster" is not a word I use commonly, and I am not sure how many
>>>  >still call themselves "Headmistresses," but I would expect it is a=20
>>>>number, given the sexual connotations of "mistress". Of course, there
>>>>portions of modern culture for which both both "headmaster" and
>>>>"headmistress" sound
>>>>primarily like porn-film titles.
>>>There is "head of school".=A0 (There is also "chair" for "chairman" or
>>>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>>>From Wall Street to Main Street and everywhere in between, stay=20
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>>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
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