Why do we use the word "womanizer"?

What is the deal with the word “womanizer”? I have always thought it was a totally ridiculous word. I’m not talking about the word’s meaning, I am talking about the actual structure of the word. Why do we refer to a man who leads a sexually promiscuous lifestyle as a “woman - izer”? What’s the deal with the “izer” part?

A meat tenderizer makes meat tender. A pulverizer makes something into powder (pulver is German for powder.) Okay. So a womanizer…turns something into a woman? Going by the logic of other “izer” words, that would be the assumption.

What the hell?

Welcome to the english language. For every rule, there are dozens and dozens of exceptions. And then there are the exceptions to the exceptions.

Because “fanny rat” was considered unsuitable for use in polite company.

A girl.

Energize does not mean to turn energy into something, it means to fill something with energy. A womanizer fills his life with women.

Don’t get me started on “One Hour Martinizing”.

Some learned history.

It’s an attempt to form a common English term for philanderer.

The “-ize” suffix can be used intransitively when it is applied to personal behaviors - e.g “apologize,” “moralize,” “philosophize,” “terrorize,” “theorize,” “womanize.”

ETA Exapno got there first.

That’s only a problem if you’re not named Martin, or if you’re really in a hurry.

Now “philanderer” is another interesting word. “Phil” is Greek/Latin for “love” (compare “philosophy”, love of wisdom); “andr” is Greek/Latin for man (compare “android”), plus we have the “er” ending, meaning “one who performs the named action”. Logically, then, a “philanderer” loves men, and a “womanizer” loves women. :slight_smile:

Both words are grossly misleading. I don’t like the word “womanizer” any more than the OP. Except for the cases where people are in open relationships, we’re really talking about cheating and marriage fraud.

Well, does “womanizer” inherently imply that the man is married and cheating on his wife? Or can an unattached man be a “womanizer”? If so, then I don’t see how it is necessarily cheating or “marriage fraud.”

I’m with you. When I hear the term “womanizer” I simply take it to mean that the man sleeps or tries to sleep with lots of women, period, the male equivalent of a “slut” (in quotes because I don’t actually use either term to label anyone). If he happens to be in a relationship, then, yes, he would be cheating/frauding.

Good question. I usually see it in the context of cheating on a spouse, but I suppose it could be used of a single person… though in that context I’d be more likely to use the word “playa” (not the landform).

And while we’re at it, consider “widow” and “widower”. A widow is a woman whose husband has died. A widower is a man whose wife has died.

Eh? What was that?

Doesn’t “widower” look like the man did it? “Yes! I killed her and threw her body off the train outside Shanghai! You’ll never catch me! Bwa ha ha!”

Stupid bloody words…

The implication is that his relationships with women are primarily sexual and emotionally shallow or non-existent.

Q) Pourquoi?

Ah, man, now I going to be up all night!

I know you’re kidding, but you’re sorta right in a way.

I think it’s the other way around. Today the connotation of philanderer is someone who cheats during marriage. A womanizer may or may not be married. It’s not defining.

You see, I’d just categorize that as a playa or player. Womanizer has an extra connotation–that the guy pretends to want a relationship. A player is usually honest about their desire to play the field.

I don’t think “womanizer” has that connotation at all. In fact, I think “player” carries more of a connotation of manipulation than “womanizer” does.

BigT, remember it this way: James Bond is a womanizer. He’s a manslut. But (as far as I know) he doesn’t ever lie to them or trick them into sleeping with them. He just seduces them.

On the other hand, a player will play women.

A long, long time ago, a man who had sex with a lot of girls ws a stud (positive) and a girl who had sex with a lot of men was a slut (negative). When the language chaned l, we needed terms to equalize the terms.

Stud became “womanizer,” but oddly “manizer” never became popular.

I’m pretty sure the logical conclusion is “philgynerer” :slight_smile:

As for womanizer, I’ve always felt like the word came about by confusing the -ize meaning of “to make/convert/subject” with “to use”. The ideas aren’t that far apart, though womanizer is obviously not the correct usage.

A womanizer, then, uses women for his pleasure (whether he does it openly or not, or honestly or not, his primary goal is self-centered - especially in the context of a culture that considered all sex wrong if it’s not procreative and within marriage).