- effeminacy – a man who adopts feminine behavior, demeanor, or dress;
- androgyny – having both masculine and feminine characteristics.
In linguistics, the adjective epicene is used to describe a word that has only one form for both male and female referents. In some cases, the term common is also used – but shouldn't be mixed up with common or appellative as a contrary to proper (as in proper noun). In English, for example, the epicene (or common) nouns cousin and violinist can refer to a man or a woman, and so can the epicene (or common) pronoun one. The noun stewardess and the third-person singular pronouns he and she on the other hand are not epicene (or common).
- In this sense the term "common" is differed from "epicene".
The same word can refer to both masculine and feminine antecedents, while retaining its own, either masculine or feminine, grammatical gender. For example, Classical Greek (ὁ) λαγώς hare is masculine, but can refer to male and female hares (he-hares and she-hares), and (ἡ) ἀλώπηξ fox is feminine, but can refer to male and female foxes (he-foxes and she-foxes).
- For this sense also the term "common" is used.
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 (masculine) "a mischievous male child"
- une enfant espiègle (feminine) "a mischievous female child"
|Look up epicene in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
- Dictionary.com: epicene (accessed on 10 August 2015)
- William W. Goodwin: A Greek Grammar. Revised and enlarged. Boston, published by Ginn & Company, 1895, p.35, §.158