I heard once that a group of women wanted the word “woman” changed to “womyn” because it would make the word more feminine. Is this true? If it is, do some people still spell the word tyhat way?

Here about the matter.
The thing to keep in mind is that there is no central body regulating language. There are academics and dictionary editors who do have some influence, but they cannot simply snap their fingers and say “Alright folks, from now on the word is spelled with a ‘Y.’”

IIRC the reason given was that someone wanted to avoid the “men” part of “women.” Or the “man” part of “woman.” Related to the idea that one is a “mail carrier” and not a “mailman.” Or some such thing.

Womyn. See also: wimmin, grrl and femstruation :rolleyes:. Filed under: stupidity.

The only times I’ve ever seen it spelled “womyn” is as a joke by men seeking to portray feminists as fruitcakes.

Rest assured it has been used quite seriously by some ardent feminists, whom I can most kindly describe as humorless.

Please tell me there are some Uncle Bonsai fans lurking about. Robot Arm, you still around?

“Look…they spelled it wrong.”

“Cool…stupid chicks put out!”

Just a few parts of the degenderizing-language effort succeeded. Most people now what “Ms.” means, and the person who brings your mail is officially a letter carrier. The rest of it, um, well, I guess it didn’t “peter out.” :slight_smile:

Yeah, I’m still here.

I think I posted that same link when this subject came up in the pit a while ago. Considering the variety of topics (from K-Mart to Penis Envy), I always thought Uncle Bonsai would be a natural favorite among dopers.

Nitpick: Actually, it did peter out, as to ‘peter out’ is to fizzle out, or fade away.


Yeah, I must admit I pretty surprised that this doesn’t seem to be the case.

[end hijack]

I’ve seen it used seriously. It grates on my eyes, if that makes any sense. I don’t like the sort of (from what I know, made up entirely) etymology that leads to things like “womyn.” I’ve also seen “wimmin.” And “wymyn.” God help us all.

Though I am actually all for phrases like “mail carrier” as opposed to “mailman” or “mailwoman,” since sometimes you don’t know which you’re going to get. Our regular mailman quit or something a couple of weeks ago and we get different people all the time.

Nitpick back: I think his point was that “peter” has male conotations, and he couldn’t think of a genderless or female equivalent.

Heyyy! Let’s give a big hand to Tengu, who earns our first Whhhooooooossshhhh of the day! Congratulations!:stuck_out_tongue:

While I think changing the spelling of “woman/women” is besides the point, I do think it’s silly to dismiss any attempt to use gender neutral terms like firefighter or mail carrier, or using a male term for a group of people including women (“policemen”). Male is not the default gender or sex.

Ther master himself speaks on a related subject, finding a gender neutral term for his/her

For what it’s worth if feminists object to anything in the word woman/women it should be “wo” not “man/men”
woman: n. 1 .adult female human being adj. female From old english wifman, from wif, wife, + man, human being.