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Removed from the etymology section:

Others have been studying the Lithuanian word, zmones (people) and smunents (men) from Old Prussian and believe these to be variants of the Indo-European base for homo or "man" in Latin. A similar base, like the Latin humus or "ground" also exists which might be the origin of all these words.

This is true information—they are all from the PIE *dhghem-(on-) (variously spelled; *dhghem- meaning "earth" and the extended form meaning, essentially, "earthling", i.e. human)—but is a total non sequitur here, having nothing to do with the history of the word manman and these words are from different roots entirely, according to all mainstream opinion. I'm not deleting it because it could yet be added to a page where it is relevant. (Perhaps groom, which is the direct English cognate of these other words.) —Muke Tever 16:11, 17 Sep 2004 (UTC)

More meanings[edit]

I have added a new meaning entry for man (#4). This should not be necessary in a purely English - English dictionary, as there is basically no difference in usage for both (1)and (4). Creating a multilingual dictionary, however, one should think about meaning and usage distinctions in other languages, in order to find a correct corresponding word in another language. The flaw of most multilingual dictionaries is that the translation is correct only one way, for example the German word Tasche can mean a travel bag and a pocket, so Tasche = bag, pocket, but you can not use the word pocket when you mean a bag.-- 13:31, 16 August 2005 (UTC)

You do not say why the new meaning is necessary, although it is presumably for the Polish translation.
This is commendable, but is the wrong approach, in my opinion. We risk stuffing the dictionary with fine shades of meaning that are not distinct senses in English just for the sake of accommodating another language that makes that distiction. The appropriate approach is not to add another sense but rather to clarify the shades of meaning in the translations. I have deleted the extra meaning ("adult male person") and moved the Polish translation into the translations for "adult male human". Any details of which translation to use should be added there. — Paul G 15:59, 16 August 2005 (UTC)
I'm going to have to disagree with the premise that there's no practical difference between definitions (1) and (4), an average person, without reference, will assume the use of the word mankind to refer to definition (4) even if that definition is not immediately available, however, a radical feminist upon seeing the use of the word mankind is likely to assume it applies only to male human beings, and implies a difference between them and female human beings as a race. I would say most persons using the words "mankind" and "Man" intend definition (4), and specifically NOT the implications present in the latter (referencing definition (1)) interpretation. (Astrocom 14:42, 29 June 2010 (UTC))


I don't like IPA transcription here- I know in theory the word should be pronounced 'mæn' but that is just what the spelling indicates it should be. Think of how to pronounce words that sound really appears in- bat or jab- and try to make it rhyme with 'mæn'. It really doesn't work. So, I think at the very least the American pronunciation should be changed to something more like 'mɛ:n' or 'mɛ:ɪn'. Spelling points to it being pronounced 'mæn', but the true, daily phonetic pronunciation almost anywhere is something rather different. —This comment was unsigned.

It's been a while, but for the record, English vowels are always nasalized before nasal consonants (/m/, /n/, or /ŋ/). So man would technically be transcribed /mæ̃n/. However, since this nasalization always occurs, it is typically not transcribed (similar to how aspiration usually isn't either). C90259025 (talk) 03:27, 20 September 2017 (UTC)


Should not there also be a decent antonym for the meaning of man that is gender/age neutral? I feel that in order to de-emphasize the sexist view of this word we should list that antonym as well. (Astrocom 14:39, 29 June 2010 (UTC))

I personally think that having antonyms in man, woman, boy is just stupid. These should be under =See also= or something. — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 14:40, 29 June 2010 (UTC)
I'm inclined to agree. EDIT: Change made. (Astrocom 14:46, 29 June 2010 (UTC))
Note, though, you can put a "sense" gloss on an antonym to say which particular sense it's an antonym for. e.g. {{sense|male human being}} Equinox 14:55, 29 June 2010 (UTC)
Hmm, did not know that, perhaps I'll think it over and change it back, then. (Also, curse these half-automated tags, I keep forgetting to include them, if they were going to bother with automation why couldn't the tags automatically appended to my last line of text?) (Astrocom 15:00, 29 June 2010 (UTC))
Webster's gives beast as antonym. - 00:59, 31 May 2014 (UTC)

Definition (6)[edit]

I'm an American, is this a common British usage of the word? Because I've honestly NEVER heard it, not once in my life, used in this way. I don't think anyone I know has ever heard it used in this way, so I'm inclined to remove it, or at least add the (Commonwealth English) or (British English) or whatever phrase is appropriate before the definition. (Astrocom 14:45, 29 June 2010 (UTC))

The given sentence looks reasonable to me (I'm British), but I wouldn't give it a separate sense. It's just a man; his occupation isn't part of the sense of the word but a contextual implication. Equinox 14:48, 29 June 2010 (UTC)
That's the only way it made sense to me as well, and to me that fits entirely within Definition (1), you think we should remove the Definition (6) or wait for a few more comments? (Astrocom 14:55, 29 June 2010 (UTC))
[1] Equinox 15:00, 29 June 2010 (UTC)
Oooooohh I didn't you could do that. I guess this means I need to do some digging through the official methods for doing various things before making serious edits again. (Astrocom 15:04, 29 June 2010 (UTC))


See this discussion, where it was determined that "man" did not have a separate sense of "a professional person" except as a context-specific use of the (general) word. — Beobach972 06:58, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

Other usages of man[edit]

What about the usage of man like, "Hey man, what's up!" Does this go under the interjection? It doesn't seem to be an interjection, but a form of greeting someone using the noun. - M0rphzone (talk) 03:05, 14 April 2012 (UTC)

You can also say "hey, dude" or "hello, mom". Just the usual noun being used as a term of address. Equinox 13:11, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
Hmm.. not exactly. The "man" being used in this context isn't being used literally or seriously as a noun, but seems to be used as part of the interjection phrase or greeting, "hey man", which is similar to "hey dude" and also "hey dawg". It's not the same as saying "hey elephant" (using a noun as the second word). But this greeting is "gender-differentiated" and is mainly used to address males while "hey girl" is used to address females. - M0rphzone (talk) 07:13, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
The only reason it's not the same is that you don't normally address an elephant as "elephant". Chuck Entz (talk) 07:57, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
I can imagine hearing the following:
  • Hey man, how's it going? Oh, I'm sorry, man, I didn't see you were busy. That's ok, man, you were right, I should have been paying more attention. See you later, man!
There seems to be an odd combination of the interjection and direct address involved- it's kind of hard to analyze. Chuck Entz (talk) 08:17, 26 May 2012 (UTC)

German "man"[edit]

Greetings from Germany. Actually the german meaning of this word is not considered as sexist. This kind of opinion is shared only within radical feminist people and especially in universities. I as a student often have to suffer under this kind of "modificated" words even though I know this is not correct. In other areas than people like this it is not used, so the note in this article should be removed. -- 14:48, 21 June 2014 (UTC)

Our German section doesn't say that it is sexist. Equinox 14:52, 21 June 2014 (UTC)
Oh, it did before you removed it. But it said "sexist by some", and you say that yourself: the feminists and universities are the "some". So it's apparently true even to you and I will restore what you removed. Equinox 14:54, 21 June 2014 (UTC)


It's now a pronoun in Multicultural London English, as documented by the linguist Jenny Cheshire. Equinox 21:14, 26 October 2015 (UTC)

RFV discussion: October 2016–September 2017[edit]

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A Chinese term. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 07:04, 23 October 2016 (UTC)

Note: both Mandarin and Cantonese usage need to be cited. If only one is cited, the other should be removed, ie (Mandarin) IPA(key): /mɛːn⁵⁵/. Admittedly, Cantonese rules are looser than Mandarin.--Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 06:01, 28 October 2016 (UTC)
This is very common slang, and noteworthy since its meaning is different than it is in English. ---> Tooironic (talk) 13:23, 30 October 2016 (UTC)
RFV passed.__Gamren (talk) 07:12, 12 September 2017 (UTC)


There is a large use of the terms men and women as gender identities that do not depend on the biological sex, so this definition may be presented too. —This unsigned comment was added by (talk).

This is covered by definition 1, IMO: "an adult male human", where "male" can refer to either sex or gender (senses 1 and 2 of "male"). - -sche (discuss) 00:52, 17 January 2018 (UTC)
Then it has to appear as two (and more) different definitions in each article: man, woman, male and female. 00:25, 18 November 2019 (UTC)


I see a formatting error at man#Adjective but I cant figure out where it comes from .... could someone please fix this? Sorry I cant help, but the section itself seems to be normal, so I dont know where the problem is coming from. Thanks, Soap (talk) 17:49, 1 October 2019 (UTC)


Should the "Chinese" section be left as is, or should it be moved to MAN (in all caps)? 𝕎𝕚𝕜𝕚𝕎𝕒𝕣𝕣𝕚𝕠𝕣𝟡𝟡𝟙𝟡 (talk) 13:02, 24 October 2019 (UTC)


See this February 2020 Tea Room discussion regarding application of woman and man (and girl and boy and some other terms) to elves, aliens, etc. - -sche (discuss) 18:13, 10 February 2020 (UTC)