Tuesday, 15 October 2013

female and male

are not related.

Latin fēmina "woman" took on the diminutive -ella suffix, becoming fēmella. This became Anglo-Norman femell, which was borrowed into English.

The English and Anglo-Norman words were also spelled femaile, female, femaul, by association with male (from Latin masculus). female and male have rhymed sine the 14th century. So although the words have different origins, you could argue that they are related now.

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