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Epicene words

From:caeruleancentaur <caeruleancentaur@...>
Date:Saturday, February 26, 2005, 15:36
--- In, Ray Brown <ray.brown@F...> wrote:

>You thought quite correctly. It is what is often called _epicene_ - >where sex is important it follows the natural sex/gender of the >canine in question. If you couldn't care less whether the critter's >a dog or a bitch, then the default gender is masculine.
A number of names for animals are epicene in English. To specify sex pairs such as cow/bull, buck/doe, stallion/mare are used. The word "dog" is different in that there is a special word for the female of the species (bitch), but not for the male who is called simply "dog." I'm wondering if there is a name for this particular phenomenon. If not, I suggest the term "semi-epicene"! Perhaps others in the list would share with us some of their animal names, how they derived them and how they distinguish when the name is epicene. Charlie


Steg Belsky <draqonfayir@...>
Muke Tever <hotblack@...>