there are several words that have male and female forms, and also usually over there are alternating suffixes to the native which show the gender; for example, "waiter" vs. "waitress", "mister" vs. "mistress", etc. The one that has always puzzled me, though, is "widow" and also "widower". Complying with the type of the ahead examples, I recognize "widower" because that men--but why the form of the word with no suffix because that women? Why isn"t a woman dubbed a "widowess"?


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I suspect due to the fact that the phrase was only necessary for women and also widower is a much later on literary invention.

You are watching: What do you call a man whose wife has died

Widow had actually a lot of legal effects for property, titles and so on. If the survivor of a marriage was a woman things got complex before females had countless rights. If the survivor was a guy in the middle ages it didn"t really make much difference as he held all the building anyway.

A comparable question came up about illegitimate girl children, there was no word due to the fact that there to be no legal require to think about them.

For the rest - aufdercouch.net usually doesn"t have countless genders anymore and those that have survived are where it was crucial to recognize the yes, really sex. For this reason for example "actress" once had actually rather an ext of a euphemism function (like the modern "model actress whatever") — where understanding their sex is relatively important.


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edited Oct 12 "15 in ~ 18:40
answered Apr 13 "11 at 20:05
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mgbmgb
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The hatchet widower is obviously an extension of "widow":

mid-14c., expanded from widow (Etymonline)

"Widow" is old enough to be credited to middle aufdercouch.net "widewe" and also Old aufdercouch.net "widuwe".

My guess because that the term beginning with women is the economical self-reliance that men have actually been granted transparent history. The toughness of polygyny over the rarer polyandry additionally implies that the death of a mam wouldn"t have changed a man"s married state as result of his having an ext than one. The require for a male counterpart just wasn"t together great.

Of note, I have actually rarely heard "widow" refer to a male who has actually lost his spouse but it seems ridiculously uncommon (and for this reason potential errors) and also most that the interpretations I saw specifically referred to women. The transition back to gender neutral language may result this. Also, "widowed" is correct because that both genders (as protest to "widowered".)


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answer Apr 13 "11 in ~ 20:17
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MrHenMrHen
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Old aufdercouch.net had on equal footing both the mrs widowa and the feminine widowe, which converge as “widow” in Early modern-day aufdercouch.net, and which is supplied for both genders by authors down until the 19th century. “Widower” first occurs in the 14th century as a way of disambiguating “widow”.


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answer Oct 9 "14 in ~ 15:55
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Historically males would die before their spouses because of their involvement in war and also there were no so many men predeceased by their wives thus the hatchet widow was applied to females whose husbands have died. The ax widower would have actually been used later on in life once a need emerged to distinguish in between a man and also woman whose spouse has died.


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Matt E. Эллен♦
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Widow basically translates to "empty house" in one of webster"s and the bible"s opinions. This needing an interpretation in and also of itself, I would certainly posit that the referral is to the truth that women had actually no was standing as far as owning anything, they can not vote, they could not to buy or sell property, they can not convey property directly to one more person, they were practically considered together "Chattel" themselves. So, without a totality lot the research, this would be speak a pair of points to me, one would be the the Husband that the shed wife would be intended to take care of those few matters the the wife would have had actually standing in, and also his own, basically thereby performing the duties the the widow or you might say that he was considered the widower to the estate.. Simply a thought however it makes sense.

See more: I Don T Cotton To That Idea")


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answered Oct 9 "14 in ~ 15:10
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