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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
HuwG BS: Usage: -ess suffix for female operatives (187* d) RE: BS: Usage: -ess suffix for female operatives 22 Nov 09


A cockpit refers to the sport of cockfighting, rather than any sexual activity. Similarly, a joystick is derived from jockeystick, used for steering small boats, carts or similar.

Governess seems to be specific to a profession now relegated to costume dramas. Likewise, seamstress. I believe that in the British acting profession, Vanessa Redgrave and Glenda Jackson led a campaign in the 1970s to stop calling female costumiers "seamstresses", they were now to be called "Wardrobe staff" or just "Wardrobe". The Muppet Show, and Martin Balsam, leaped at the opportunity. Martin asked Cooter, "Could Wardrobe press this suit before I go on stage?" The wardrobe obligingly crushed him.

Peeress (and also Baroness etc) would still be correct in the UK, as there are still laws and usages regarding the succession of titles in the female line.


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