A*#holes and B%tches

The persistence of gender in English, from honorifics to insults.


Dividing up nouns as “masculine” and “feminine” — like, for example, in Spanish — has not been a part of English for many centuries. And yet our language remains peppered throughout with gender, often overtly in terms like Mrs. and Mr., which evolved from “mistress” and “master.” Sometimes, however, it’s more subtle. John explains.