berdache

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From French bardache, from Italian bardascia, perhaps from Arabic بردج (bardaj, slave). Compare bardash.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

berdache (plural berdaches or berdache)

  1. (anthropology) Among Native Americans, a person who identifies with any of a variety of gender identities which are not exclusively those of their biological sex; a transgender person. [from the 1890s; peaked in commonness in the 1990s]
    • 2005, Michael J Horswell, Decolonizing the Sodomite, University of Texas 2006, page 20:
      Male berdache have been documented in nearly 150 North American societies, while female berdache (females who take on the lifeways of males) appear in half as many groups.

Usage notes[edit]

Considered offensive by many Native American communities because of its pejorative and non-American etymology, berdache began to fall out of use in the 1990s; two-spirit and various tribe-specific terms (wergern, etc) are now used instead.

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

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French[edit]

Noun[edit]

berdache m (plural berdaches)

  1. Alternative form of bardache.

Portuguese[edit]

Noun[edit]

berdache m f (plural berdaches)

  1. two-spirit (native American who is transgender or belongs to a third gender)