|Look up epicene in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
- effeminacy — a man who adopts feminine behavior, demeanor, or dress,
- androgyny — having both masculine and feminine characteristics,
- neutrois — an absence of gender expression or gender identity.
In linguistics, the adjective "epicene" is used to describe a word that has only one form for both male and female referents. The term "common" is also used. In English, for example, the words "cousin" and "violinist" can refer to either a man or a woman. While singular pronouns are gender-specific, the plural pronoun "they" is epicene and is therefore sometimes preferred (either using plural constructions or as singular they).
- The same word can refer to both masculine and feminine antecedents, while retaining its own grammatical gender. For example, in New Testament Greek, parthenos (παρθένος, "virgin") is a feminine noun, but masculine in form. It can be used to refer to both men and women.
- A noun or adjective has identical masculine and feminine forms. For example, in French, the noun enfant "child" and the adjective espiègle "mischievous" can be either masculine or feminine:
- un enfant espiègle "a mischievous male child"
- une enfant espiègle "a mischievous female child"
- Gender neutrality in English
- Generic antecedents
- Unisex names
- 'Epicene'. The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2000.
- JW Wenham. The Elements of New Testament Greek. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1965, p. 169.
- 'Epicene'. Dictionary.com.