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