shemale

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English[edit]

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Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

she +‎ male

Pronunciation[edit]

(file)

Noun[edit]

shemale ‎(plural shemales)

  1. (derogatory, offensive, proscribed) A male-to-female transsexual or transgender person.
  2. (biology, nonstandard, see usage notes) A male animal which displays female traits or behaviors; for example, a male reptile which gives off female pheromones.
    • 2001, R. Shine, B. Phillips, H. Waye, M. LeMaster, R. T. Mason, Benefits of female mimicry in snakes, in Nature (414, 267):
      She-male garter snakes exploit the amorous attentions of other males to warm up.

Usage notes[edit]

  • The use of shemale to refer to trans women is offensive and proscribed by several authorities.[1][2] It is found especially (though not exclusively) in pornography, where it and the similarly offensive term tranny are the primary references to trans women.[3][4]
  • The use of shemale in biology has been criticized (e.g. by biologist Joan Roughgarden) as "degrading [...] borrowed from the porn industry" and unprofessional.[5]

Antonyms[edit]

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