Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Language and Gender

The other day someone said I was "hysterical." I began to wonder if that was the right word. After all, the word comes from the Greek root "hystero-", meaning the uterus (see "hysterectomy"...well, actually you don't want to see one of those), which implies the word can only be used for a woman. So what's a male-specific word that means the same thing? I think the new word should be "testocular," a combination of the words testes and jocular, to designate a humorous male. However, when I ran this by a friend, she suggested that "testocular" was really more suited to replace the phrase "beer goggles," as in "I saw you looking at her last night. Were you testocular or what?"

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