Dictonary.com Tackles ”Transgender”

May 14, 2011 · 28591 views

Dictonary.com Tackles ”Transgender”

I found this on Dictionary.com.  For the most part it is a very positive and informative discussion on what it means to be transgendered.

The word transgender is a recent addition to English. In conversational use as early as the 1960s, “transgender” entered the dictionary in the early 1990s. Trans- is a Latin prefix meaning “across or beyond.” Gender shares the same Latin root as genus. As a classifier for male and female, “gender” replaced “sex” in the 20th century. This was a trend started by feminist writers who wanted to highlight the biological attributes of males and females separate from their social characteristics.

While the word transgender is very new, the idea of behaving outside a traditional gender identity role is quite old: A whole level of meaning to Shakespeare’s plays, often in the form of double entendre revolves around the men dressed up as women to act in female roles.


  1. dinodude says:

    Sorry, I should have checked my spelling before posting this.

  2. Lovely! I had no idea there were drag jokes in Shakespeare, only that sitting through most stagings is a real drag.

  3. dinodude says:

    Thanks Marc. It looks great — excellent work.

  4. dinodude says:

    …except “dictionary” is still incorrect. Cheers.

  5. dinodude says:

    A good production fo Shakespeare will ham-up the drag in the comedies. As a young student, I saw quite a few excellent productions at Stratford (southern Ontario) and at the Young People’s Theatre in Toronto.

    One of the comments suggest that “drag” is a theatrical annotation for “dressed as a girl”. I suspect this is a cleaver contrivance, as drag appears in Polari meaning “clothes”. Bona drag = your best clothes. Although, I have not idea how “drag” made its way into Polari.

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