Womanly Words – Gyn

By Sharon

Well, I couldn’t let the men have all the fun. English has a lot of words that contain the Greek root meaning woman or female – gyn. This appears at the start or in the middle of many common words. As with the andr- words, many of these have biological or scientific origins. Here’s a list to start you off:

acrogynous – plants having female organs at the top of the stem

androgynoid – a male with female features

androgynous – having both male and female characteristics; also applies in botany.

apogynous, apogyny – referring to the condition of having non working female reproductive organs

calligyniaphobia – a fear of beautiful women (if you’re scared of all women, then you have gynephobia or gynecophobia)

ergatogynous – describes insects who have worker females

gyneceum – harem or woman’s house

gynander – woman who has male characteristics (gyndandrous refers to plants)

gynarchy – government run by women

gynecentric – regarding women as primary or central

gynecium – the pistil, or female part of a flower

gynecogen – something that stimulates female sexual characteristics (hormone)

gynecology – the study and treatment of diseases that affect women’s reproductive systems

gynogamete – ovum

gynoid – robot shaped like a woman

Many more here.

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4 Responses to “Womanly Words – Gyn”

  • Dennis Royman

    You have selected a nice list of Greek Words to share with us all. I will have to keep them available. You never know what words will be needed when you are writing.

  • Charity

    I was pleasantly surprised by the word “gynoid” when I came across it on your list. I’ve never heard it before, yet it makes perfect sense! We’re all so accustomed to its male equivalent, “android,” but I’d never really given any thought to the etymology of the word before. I love little things like that, and normally I catch them on my own– but not this one! Thanks for bringing this bit of fun to my attention. 🙂

  • Sharon Hurley Hall

    @ Dennis: Glad you like them. I enjoy nosing out these gems.

    @ Charity: That one was new to me, too. I’ve always called them ‘female androids’ but now I have a more accurate word to use.

  • Paul Russell

    “Womanly words” indeed. My wife’s always asking for Gyn & Tonic:-)

    –paul

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