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what is the female equivalent of "man"

 
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In this post, the poster said "thanks man." When something like that happens, I like to call attention to the fact that I'm female.

I couldn't think of what the female equivalent is though. It's not "woman". I went with ma'am. But that's the female equivalent of "sir."

Or maybe there isn't one. "guys" has the same problem. I consider that unisex though whereas I don't consider "man" to be.
 
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“Thanks, man” is very familiar and non‑professional and very informal. It is not the sort of thing you would say casually to somebody you don't know (at least not where I right).
Woman, lass, Miss, Misuss etc are all appropriate inappropriate. You could just about get away with, “Thanks, lady” thirty years ago. And I am sure you wouldn't like, “Thanks, Madame” with or without any of the many pronunciations of or spelling versions of Madam.

I wouldn't actually say, “Thanks, man” or, “Thanks, [♀]” to anybody, except possibly face to face.
 
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Having had a look at the thread you linked: Of course in the Southern USA all women are called Madame pronounced Mam so maybe you would like that. Having met some Texans, I think, “Thanks, Ma'am,” is by no means the female equivalent of, “Thanks, man.” The way they use it in Texas, it is very polite and courteous and formal. If you are told, “Thanks, Ma'am,” I would expect to be addressed, “Thanks, Sir.”
 
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Where I live, people don't say Ma'am either. It is used in other parts of the country (US) though so I hear it when working with people from other areas. It definitely isn't equivalent of "man" though. You are correct that it is way more formal. I remember the first time I was called "ma'am" (by someone in Texas.) There was a bit of "who are they talking to; oh me" moment there.

I think you are right that "man" is informal so doesn't come up. Whereas "guys" comes up regularly (where I live) and is therefore unisex.

I remember one time, a meeting was started with "Gentleman". I said something after which led to a nice discussion about why guys is NOT equivalent to gentleman.
 
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I've heard people say "Thanks girl", "How are you doing girl" etc. But it's typically something you'd say to a female you're chummy with.
 
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Joe Bishara wrote:I've heard people say "Thanks girl", "How are you doing girl" etc. But it's typically something you'd say to a female you're chummy with.


Yeah. That requires knowing someone well. I think it is also used in certain areas. Or by really outgoing people .

If a guy said "Thanks girl", I'd definitely say something in response.
 
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To me, "man" as in "Thanks, man" or "Hey man, don't put that in my eye" doesn't imply male at all. Hey man you need to fix your makeup doesn't sound too strange... On the other hand guys implied male to me, and maybe in the last 15 years or so has become unisex. When I first heard girls saying it to each other it sounded very strange.
 
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The fact that "Thanks girl" is too informal and "Thanks ma'am" is too formal and there's nothing in between maybe reflects the social reality that males are much more chummy with each other than females are. A man can meet a stranger (another man) at a football match, strike up a conversation and talk for hours. This doesn't happen too often with females.

Nevertheless, here in northern England, "Thanks love" is rampant and unisex.
 
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To me "Thanks, man" is equivalent to "Thanks, dude". Very informal and chummy. I cannot think of a female equivalent.

And to me, it doesn't seem unisex at all. I would never think to say either to a woman.

 
Guillermo Ishi
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Bear Bibeault wrote:
And to me, it doesn't seem unisex at all. I would never think to say either to a woman.


That's interesting. I was trying to remember people saying it down there. I would say Cut it out, man to a woman. I would say Oh, man you broke your heel. I woudn't say Thanks for the date, man to a woman. Unless I knew her real well possibly. I say Oh man! meaning Oh s***! all the time or Oh man! instead of Yippee!. Directed to nobody. I know the chummy male sense of man too, I think, sort of like bro. To me dude is more masculine but I hear college-age women saying it to each other all the time. I think there's no female equivalent so they adopted it. I think I've heard young women calling each other bro but I'm not sure. There used to be some show like Sesame Street where somebody would yell Hey you guyyyyys! meaning the girls too.
 
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Guillermo Ishi wrote: I would say Oh, man you broke your heel. I say Oh man! meaning Oh s***! all the time or Oh man! instead of Yippee!. Directed to nobody.


Neither of these sound odd because they aren't directed at the other person. In the first one "you" is directed at her, but "man" is just an expression.

Guillermo Ishi wrote: I would say Cut it out, man to a woman.


I wouldn't.

"guys" I agree is unisex.
 
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Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:
Neither of these sound odd because they aren't directed at the other person. In the first one "you" is directed at her, but "man" is just an expression.


There are subtle degrees of it being actually directed at the other person. I wouldn't say "Hey woman, you're a man." In the '70s we ended every sentence with ",man", like little beatniks. It had no male connotation at all. A girl might say "Hey, don't Bogart that, man" to another girl. No male connotations. It entered mainly through the beatnik lexicon. Then came the Tom Cruise disco era, and the former days were very out of style and any remaining vestige was media blasted. I remember a guy with long hair, probably the sole guy with long hair in a town of 250,000, being ridiculed. Somebody said "Doesn't he know the hippie days are over?" Then came Grunge. Kurt Cobain made Tom Cruise boredom personified. Grunge adopted styles from the '70s, long hair, beads, nasty jeans, and I distinctly remember a point where I thought, people are saying "man" to each other again. Without that background I can see how when you hear "man" it might remind you of men.
 
Jeanne Boyarsky
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Yeah. I wasn't alive in the 70s.
 
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Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:Yeah. I wasn't alive in the 70s.


Too bad, man.


 
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I use phrases like "bedankt, man" with all my friends, regardless of gender. I consider it unisex, but would never use it in a professional setting. When I talk about women in the third person, I usually use the word "lady", or in Dutch "dame". "De dames zijn op weg naar de stad".
 
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In my part of the country, you're likely to get "Thanks, sweetie" or "Thanks, honey", or even "Thanks, sugar" regardless of whether you are a man or woman. But it will be a woman saying it almost 100% of the time. Men are not that informal. And no, they are not flirting, it's just friendly. And "sugar" has about 4 syllables around here.

It took some getting used to when I first moved here.
 
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Stephan van Hulst wrote: I consider it unisex, but would never use it in a professional setting.


Same here, except I might use it in a professional setting if the person I was talking to was alive in the '70s. It would be sort of like going ghetto. If two women were alive in the '70s I wouldn't be surprised to hear them saying it to each other. Unless somewhere along the way they'd sold out to the man. ;)
 
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Stephan van Hulst wrote:I use phrases like "bedankt, man" with all my friends, regardless of gender. I consider it unisex, ...


When I say that to a female friend she says "I'm not a man, I don't have a **** between my legs!". And then I say "Fortunately not!".
 
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I think she just wanted an excuse to talk dirty, man. If I was a woman and I thought I was being called a man, I'd respond to you with "I agree, woman", man.
 
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What about "Lady" i.e. "Thanks Lady" ...
 
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Kaxhif Khan wrote:What about "Lady" i.e. "Thanks Lady" ...


That sounds either formal or British.
 
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Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:
That sounds either formal or British.



Well in that case i think the best equivalent is to go with "thanks miss". Both "thanks miss" and "thanks man" sounds informal.
 
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Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:

Kaxhif Khan wrote:What about "Lady" i.e. "Thanks Lady" ...


That sounds either formal or British.


Sounds like Jerry Lewis.
 
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Kaxhif Khan wrote:Well in that case i think the best equivalent is to go with "thanks miss". Both "thanks miss" and "thanks man" sounds informal.


Which brings us back to ma'am. It's more generic than "miss" which assumes you aren't married.
 
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Mr. Deeds was on TV the other night and a guy calls Mr. Deeds "toots". I figured "toots" would always be female, derived from a certain female-only mammalian trait, but nope, it was unisex. At least in that movie. Good old Edward G, Robinson days of dames and toots. I would have sooo married Lauren Bacall.
 
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Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:

Kaxhif Khan wrote:What about "Lady" i.e. "Thanks Lady" ...


That sounds either formal or British.


Really? As a British person that sounds American to me. British people might refer to someone as "a lady", but I don't think we'd often use it as term of address.
 
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Matthew Brown wrote: . . . British people might refer to someone as "a lady", but I don't think we'd often use it as term of address.

We woiuld have 40 or 50 years ago but not nowadays.
 
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Campbell Ritchie wrote:

Matthew Brown wrote: . . . British people might refer to someone as "a lady", but I don't think we'd often use it as term of address.

We woiuld have 40 or 50 years ago but not nowadays.


So it sounds like a stereotype of the British that no longer applies?
 
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Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:Or maybe there isn't one. "guys" has the same problem. I consider that unisex though whereas I don't consider "man" to be.


Folks. There may not be a good female equivalent, but there is a unisex one. I realized that today so had to bump the thread!
 
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instead of "how are you guys doing", why not "how y'all doin'?"
 
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"Thanks man" >> "Go Girl !!!" ?
 
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salvin francis wrote:"Thanks man" >> "Go Girl !!!" ?



A "man" is an adult.
A "girl" is a child

Even if it's not intended, there is the implication here that the female is "lesser" somehow. Less mature, less responsible, less able to take care of herself. after all, she's just a "girl".
 
salvin francis
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On the other hand ... you are implying that she is young ;)
 
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fred rosenberger wrote:A "girl" is a child


Not necessarily...it's okay if it's used in a non-derogatory way. Many women like to feel flattered and many men like to feel macho, so if you call a man a boy, he gets offended but if a man says "I'm going out with my girl tonight" or "you're my favourite girl", a woman doesn't mind so much. Many women use the phrase "girls night out"
 
fred rosenberger
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Daniel Cox wrote:

fred rosenberger wrote:A "girl" is a child


Not necessarily...it's okay if it's used in a non-derogatory way. Many women like to feel flattered and many men like to feel macho, so if you call a man a boy, he gets offended but if a man says "I'm going out with my girl tonight" or "you're my favourite girl", a woman doesn't mind so much. Many women use the phrase "girls night out"



Who decides if it's derogatory?  You?  So I (being white) can use the "N" word to refer to my African-American friends as long as I don't mean it in a derogatory way?

I believe my wife would be offended if i referred to her as "my girl".  It still implies that I have power over her - I am a MAN, but she is just a GIRL.
 
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fred rosenberger wrote:instead of "how are you guys doing", why not "how y'all doin'?"


fred rosenberger wrote:I believe my wife would be offended if i referred to her as "my girl".


I see your point. I guess apart from referring to a woman by her name, the universally accepted options for referring to a woman are the formal options like "madam" or "you" -- as in "how y'all doin'?"   Referring to a man or woman as "man" or "woman" is not universally accepted. Some men may take offence if I refer to them as "man" instead of "sir". Similarly, some women may take offence if I refer to them as "woman" instead of "madam". So it looks like the search for a universally accepted female equivalent of "man" is futile since "man" itself is not really universally accepted (as Campbell Ritchie pointed out at the beginning of this thread).
 
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For the simplicity, I always tend to use "Thank you", which works actually always.
 
fred rosenberger
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when I worked retail, I always addressed my customers as "Sir" and "Ma'am", regardless of their age.  Even that got some people upset - "did you just 'Ma'am' me? I'm only 25!!".  It also made some younger customers smile - many 8 year old males got a huge kick out of being called "sir" by a 25 yr old adult (albeit a somewhat immature one).
 
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Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:Folks. There may not be a good female equivalent, but there is a unisex one.


In the UK, there are any number: mate, chum, tosh[o], mush, me old [china|pikey]...

Or of course, up North, there is the feminine "tart" (best said with a Scouse accent). Not exactly PC though.

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