[Ads-l] Query on "huntress"

Cohen, Gerald Leonard gcohen at MST.EDU
Tue Mar 26 15:06:32 UTC 2019

The writer who sent me the query (April Vokey)

has completed her article, which is available here:


It turns out that the ads-l information reinforced material she had already gathered, but in an e-mail to me she expressed gratitude for all the information ads-l provided.  Her article is a very interesting one and might be of use in classes on language and gender studies.

Gerald Cohen

Gerald Cohen

From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
Sent: Friday, March 22, 2019 2:50 PM
Subject: Re: Query on "huntress"

---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
Poster:       Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
Subject:      Re: Query on "huntress"

> On Mar 22, 2019, at 3:36 PM, Chris Waigl <chris at LASCRIBE.NET> wrote:
> This is not a scientifically well-based comment, but as I live in a
> place where hunting (for sport, personal use, and subsistence =
> is extremely common, I'm only ever hearing the (many many) women who
> hunt being referred to as "hunters". There seems to be very little
> reason to make a difference here, as the core of the thing, for those
> who practice it seriously, is exactly the same.
> Christine Cunningham, who writes a column for the Anchorage Daily =
> is always referred to as a hunter:
> https://www.adn.com/author/christine-cunningham/
> When you say huntress I think of a scene painted on an ancient vase.
> Chris

Yes, it=E2=80=99s a bit like =E2=80=9Cpriestess=E2=80=9D (conjuring up a =
female presider over ancient rites) vs. sex-neutral =E2=80=9Cpriest=E2=80=9D=
 (as in the Episcopal/Anglican tradition).  =E2=80=9CHuntress=E2=80=9D =
for me conjures Artemis/Diana, not Sarah Palin.  Of course whether =
it=E2=80=99s appropriate to describe Ms. Palin as a hunter at all when =
she shoots moose from a low-flying aircraft is another question=E2=80=A6


> On 3/22/19 8:16 AM, Cohen, Gerald Leonard wrote:
>> Dear members of ads-l,
>> Today I received an inquiry with several parts concerning the word =
>> The message came from a woman writer wanting to clear up whether the =
word is
>> sexist and if so why.
>> Has anything been written on this?  Would anyone have any =
ideas/insight/etc. about
>> the semantic development of the term? (e.g., is it politically =
incorrect to refer to a
>> female hunter as a "huntress"?
>> Any assistance would be much appreciated.
>> Gerald Cohen
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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

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