Wiktionary:Votes/2009-12/Masculine and feminine given names

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Masculine and feminine given names[edit]

  • Voting on: Using the words masculine and feminine when referring to given names of these grammatical genders.
  • This proposal is to come into effect in entries, appendices and categories.
Example: The entry William may contain "A masculine given name" within its definition, may be a member of a category called "Category:English masculine given names" and may be listed in "Appendix:English masculine given names".
Note: The terms male and female should be avoided for that purpose.
  • Vote starts: 00:00, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Vote ends: 24:00, 15 February 2010 (UTC)


  1. Symbol support vote.svg Support Daniel. 15:22, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
  2. Symbol support vote.svg Support EncycloPetey 17:21, 17 January 2010 (UTC)


  1. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Mglovesfun (talk) 13:44, 17 January 2010 (UTC), see Wiktionary talk:Votes/2009-12/Masculine and feminine given names as I don't want to use up too much space here. Mglovesfun (talk) 13:44, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
  2. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose. Masculine and feminine refer to grammatical gender. DAVilla 14:22, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
    • ...and to cultural gender. Male and female refer to the gametes that are produced and to genitalia. Please note the resulting problems described on the talk page for cultures where biological males belonging to a third gender use traditionally feminine names. --EncycloPetey 17:27, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
      Where a name is neither male nor female, if that ever occurs, some other description must obviously be given. If a name is feminine then it belabors the point to say it is either female or intersex. I don't mean to sweep this under the rug by saying that it's understood certain individuals will choose to take traditionally female names. However, I think it's important that in a dictionary we use masculine and feminine consistently. It's quite possible that a traditionally female name could be used in a different grammatical gender than feminine. In those cases the definition could be given as e.g.
      1. (feminine or neuter) A female given name.
      Obviously this would need further discussion, but at least it illustrates the difference between grammatical and cultural gender. My point is that it makes more sense to have the meaning of female take on a wider role depending on the cultural perception than it does to confuse aspects much closer to linguistic use. DAVilla 23:26, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
      But that creates serious problems, as for example with the name George, which is a clearly masculine name but had a famous female bearer (George Eliot) who took the name as a pseudonym for cultural reasons (to appear in a masculine gender role for purposes of publishing). By using "male/female", we have to label George as both a male and a female name, but with "masculine/feminine", we need only label it as a masculine name. --EncycloPetey 23:31, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
      No, we wouldn't label it both ways. It's overwhelmingly a male name, and it's understood that in certain circumstances a male name would be used by someone who isn't male, for cultural reasons. DAVilla 22:50, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
      Why treat this any differently from other words? If there are three attestations that meet CFI, then it's allowable. We don't exclude a definition just because an alternative definition is "overwhelmingly" used. --EncycloPetey 23:18, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
  3. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Ƿidsiþ 14:32, 17 January 2010 (UTC) "Masculine" and "feminine" seem more subjective to me. Wally is a man's name, but I wouldn't say it's very masculine.
    Yes, masculine and feminine are culturally subjective, just as the names are, and some names are applied to individuals are either gender (Robin, Kelly, Charlie). Male and female are biologically determined factors of sex which can be judged by inspection in the absence of cultural features, which is not true of names. --EncycloPetey 17:26, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
  4. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Dan Polansky 15:08, 17 January 2010 (UTC) per Wiktionary:Votes/pl-2010-01/Renaming given name appendixes.
  5. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Conrad.Irwin 15:12, 17 January 2010 (UTC) I take it that failure of this would imply support for "male" and "female". Conrad.Irwin 15:12, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
  6. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Ultimateria 17:01, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
  7. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose --Vahagn Petrosyan 01:45, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
  8. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose --Makaokalani 14:34, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
  9. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose. Given names are applied to/adopted by people based on the biological/cultural/psychological gender of the person the name is applied to/adopted by - i.e. under most circumstances a male person will have a particular name because that name is used by other males. "Masculine" and "feminine" should be used exclusively for grammatical gender, which may or may not correspond with the gender of the person using the name (e.g. a "male" name might be grammatically "female"). Thryduulf 20:28, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
  10. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Prefer male/female, as above vote & discussion. —Nils von Barth (nbarth) (talk) 05:59, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
  11. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose. No, just no full stop...It just sounds weird... 50 Xylophone Players talk 14:44, 15 February 2010 (UTC)


  1. Symbol abstain vote.svg Abstain Better in some ways than "male" and "female", but worse in other ways. All told, I prefer "male" and "female", but not enough to actively oppose these. —RuakhTALK 00:19, 19 January 2010 (UTC)


  • Vote fails 2-11-1. --Yair rand 01:21, 16 February 2010 (UTC)