Lexicon Valley: Anne Curzan on the etymology and history of feminine designations in the English language.

Lexicon Valley: On -Ess, -Ette, -Trix, and Other Feminine Endings

Lexicon Valley: On -Ess, -Ette, -Trix, and Other Feminine Endings

A show about the mysteries of English.
Feb. 23 2015 3:07 PM

Sex Workers

University of Michigan professor Anne Curzan discusses -ess, -ette, -trix, and other feminine endings in the English language.

Amelia Earhart, Harper Lee, and the Rockettes.
An aviatrix, an authoress, and the Rockettes.

Photo illustration by Slate. Photos via Getty Images.

Listen to Lexicon Valley Episode No. 54: Sex Workers

Listen to Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss the history and etymology of feminine suffixes—including -ess, -ette, and -trix—with University of Michigan professor Anne Curzan.

You’ll find every Lexicon Valley episode at slate.com/lexiconvalley, or in the player below:

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