[Ads-l] equine eggcorn

Amy West medievalist at W-STS.COM
Mon Mar 1 12:29:42 UTC 2021

On 3/1/21 00:00, ADS-L automatic digest system wrote:
> Date:    Sun, 28 Feb 2021 19:36:36 +0000
> From:    James Landau<jjjrlandau at NETSCAPE.COM>
> Subject: Re: equine eggcorn
> while the word "whore" is pejorative, it is not always misogynist because it sometimes does not refer to females.

The misogynism doesn't necessarily lie in the simple reference but lies 
in the cultural ideas underlying the use.

> - "The Whore of Babylon" according to who you ask can mean the city and empire of Babylon, the city and empire of Rome, or the Roman Catholic Church, among others.
> - occasionally you will hear a man said to be "whoring around"

That use involves someone being involved with people who are indirectly 
referred to in that use. Is the pejoration applied to the "whorer" or 
the "whoree"?

> - "whore" can refer to a man who is considered guilty of mercenary activities.

Right, again the misogyny lies not in the reference but the choice of 
use. Wouldn't "gigolo" be more appropros, given the gender agreement? 
But "gigolo" just is not used as broadly or as pejoratively as "whore." 
There's millenia of misogyny sedimented into the cultural notions 
directing all the uses that you've mentioned.

---Amy West

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list