Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Feminist spelling of woman.
  • n. Feminist spelling of women.

Etymologies

From woman and women; respelled so as not to contain man/men. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • He hates the word womyn, and anything with the suffix - centric.

    White Male Paranoia

  • The NYT story I linked to concerns the "about 100 below-the-radar lesbian communities in North America, known as womyn's lands (their preferred spelling), whose guiding philosophies date from a mostly bygone era."

    nancynall.com

  • These days, she and other members worry about the future of Alapine, which is one of about 100 below-the-radar lesbian communities in North America, known as womyn's lands (their preferred spelling), whose guiding philosophies date from a mostly bygone era.

    ARTHUR MAGAZINE - WE FOUND THE OTHERS

  • D See, that post on "womyn" may have been humor, but I don't believe that it was reverse psychology.

    Good, better, best

  • When the time came for his presentation, one of the campus "womyn" sabotaged it by pulling the plug on a television set Scott intended to use to show a video, and refused to relinquish it while other onlookers attempted to shout him down.

    The anti-intellectual trend among abortion advocates

  • Sort of like the way the spelling "womyn" is only used by people attacking feminism, not actual feminists.

    OT: Everybody Is Kung-Fu Fighting

  • I've also seen the spelling "womyn" used in earnest.

    OT: Everybody Is Kung-Fu Fighting

  • What compelled these "womyn" to round up the papers?

    NewsBusters.org - Exposing Liberal Media Bias

  • It might be some politically correct spelling of the word, like "womyn" instead of woman.

    Latest Articles

  • They choose the alternate spellings of 'womyn' and 'wimmin' to do this.

    AfterEllen.com - Because visibility matters

Comments

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  • Whatever... I'm gonna say "ain't no shame in the game" as often as possible. :)

    September 10, 2008

  • She, sorry--I apparently took you more seriously than you did yourself!

    From what I've read, one of the arguments against this whole "y" thing was that etymologically, the words "man" and "woman" already differ. It's pretty clear that it wasn't a case of carefully analyzing the roots of English words. But I'm just presenting the argument as I understand it; I'm certainly no expert on the subject. :-)

    September 10, 2008

  • I assumed it was 'my,' in the way of 'reclaiming ownership.'

    September 9, 2008

  • Interesting. The 'y' also has anatomical implications, n'est-ce pas? An extra dimension of symbolism.

    September 9, 2008

  • Ha ha!! :)

    September 9, 2008

  • Ain't no shame in the game!

    ahem, edit: Oh, hello, yarb! That was directed at c_b.

    September 9, 2008

  • Wouldn't this old chestnut have more credence if a similar pattern existed in all, or even most, other languages?

    September 9, 2008

  • Allow me to take this opportunity to plug my list like a shameless hussy (the opposite of a goody or goodwife), even though it's only tangentially related to the conversation.

    September 9, 2008

  • Oh yes! I wasn't serious.

    It seems to me, though, that woman is the sort of word you don't see as implying anything (like so many words in English used daily, remaining oblivious to their roots) until it's specifically brought to your attention. (Funny how, in focusing on the implications of the word woman, one could also choose to disregard the products of intentional misspelling being considered almost universally silly!)

    And, by that logic (though faulty — woman is from wífman, a compound where wíf (wife) meant woman, and man meant human being), wife — which, for a time, after originally meaning "woman," meant "woman of lowly rank or employment" — should be just as reprehensible, yes?

    September 9, 2008

  • They never did much with history, though. Herstory just doesn't do it for me. :(

    September 9, 2008

  • I dislike it immensely, she, but I understand the thinking behind it--and it had nothing to do with spelling like a pop star. The spelling was coined to point out what feminists (in the "old" sense of the term) believed was an inherent bias in the English language, which in turn they believed reflected historical and social subordination of women. The spellings of "woman" and "women," they argued, suggest that women are a subset of men. It was an effort to "own" what they were called.

    The whole premise, if I understand it correctly, was based on the argument that language can be a powerful tool in shaping how people perceive others and how they understand the world.

    September 9, 2008

  • I've never understood this one. "Yes! We will distinguish ourselves by spelling like popstars."

    September 9, 2008

  • I've also seen the variant wimmin.

    December 9, 2007