GENDER IN LANGUAGE PROJECT


DANISH LEXICAL GENDER ITEMS

by BEN PAPADOPOULOS & EHM HJORTH-NEBEL MILTERSEN

This section lists word pairs with masculine-feminine gender distinctions according to their morphology. Some pairs differ by the presence or absence of a feminine gender morpheme (e.g. sanger 'singer [M.]', sangerinde 'singer [F.]'). These are categorized by the morpheme that appears on the feminine form (e.g. -inde, -ske, -esse, -øse). Other pairs form masculine-feminine distinctions in ways that transcend definitions of morphological gender (e.g. konge 'king', dronning 'queen'). In other words, they do not differ by the presence or absence of a feminine gender morpheme, but by some other feature(s).

Feminine morphemes in Danish may be matrimonial, producing the meaning 'wife of' or establishing a marriage relation (e.g. greve 'count', grevinde 'countess'), or functional, producing feminine counterparts for words referring to men without a matrimonial link (e.g. ven 'friend [M.]', veninde 'friend [F.]'). These distinct functions are reflected in the translational equivalents offered below.


ABBREVIATIONS

[M.]

MASCULINE

[COM.]

COMMON

[F.]

FEMININE

[N.]

NEUTER

[I.]

INCLUSIVE

[NOM.]

NOMINATIVE

[SG.]

SINGULAR

[ACC.]

ACCUSATIVE

[PL.]

PLURAL

[GEN.]

GENITIVE


NOUNS ENDING IN -INDE


MASCULINE


FEMININE

mand

'man'

hertug

'duke'

greve

'count'

svoger

'brother-in-law'

vært

'host'

ven

'friend [M.]'

elsker

'lover [M.]'

lærer

'teacher [M.]'

danser

'dancer [M.]'

læser

'reader [M.]'

sanger

'singer [M.]'

skuespiller

'actor [M.]'

forstander

'principal [M.]'

englænder

'Englishman'

jøde

'Jewish person [M.]'

slave

'enslaved person [M.]'

digter

'poet [M.]'

forfatter

'author [M.]'

forstander

'principal [M.]'

hyrde

'shepherd [M.]'

telefonist

'telephone operator [M.]'

kejser

'emperor'

admiral

'admiral [M.]'

amtmand

'official [M.]'

assessor

'assessor [M.]'

general

'general [M.]'

greve

'count'

infant

[title for sons of Spanish and Portuguese kings, minus the heir to the throne]

kammerherre

'chamberlain [M.]'

oberst

'colonel [M.]'

pastor

'priest [M.]'

professor

'professor [M.]'

provst

'provost [M.]'

regent

'regent [M.]'

borger

'citizen [M.]'

helgen

'saint [M.]'

rival

'rival, competitor [M.]'

synder

'sinner [M.]'

tilbeder

'worshipper [M.]'

vært

'host [M.]'

amerikaner

'American person [M.]'

grønlænderinder

'Greenlander [M.]'

islænder

'Icelander [M.]'

italiener

'Italian person [M.]'

kreoler

'Creole person [M.]'

københavner

'Copenhagener [M.]'

pariser

'Parisian [M.]'

spanier

'Spanish person [M.]'

kvinde

'woman'

hertuginde

'dutchess'

grevinde

'countess'

svigerinde

'sister-in-law'

værtinde

'hostess'

veninde

'friend [F.]'

elskerinde

'lover [F.]'

lærerinde

'teacher [F.]'

danserinde

'dancer [F.]'

læserinde

'reader [F.]'

sangerinde

'singer [F.]'

skuespillerinde

'actress'

forstanderinde

'principal [M.]'

englænderinde

'Englishwoman'

jødinde

'Jewish person [F.]'

slavinde

'enslaved person [F.]'

digterinde

'poetess'

forfatterinde

'author [F.]'

forstanderinde

'principal [M.]'

hyrdinde

'shepherd [F.]'

telefonistinde

'telephone operator [F.]'

kejserinde

'empress'

admiralinde

'admiral [M.]'

amtmandinde

'official [M.]'

assessorinde

'assessor [F.]'

generalinde

'general [F.]'

grevinde

'countess'

infantinde

[title for daughters of Spanish and Portuguese kings, minus the heir to the throne]

kammerherreinde

'chamberlain [F.]'

oberstinde

'colonel [F.]'

pastorinde

'priestess'

professorinde

'professor [F.]'

provstinde

'provost [F.]'

regentinde

'regent [F.]'

borgerinde

'citizen [F.]'

gemalinde

'consort'

helgeninde

'saint [M.]'

rivalinde

'rival, competitor [F.]'

synderinde

'sinner [F.]'

tilbederinde

'worshipper [F.]'

værtinde

'hostess'

amerikanerinde

'American person [F.]'

grønlænderinderinde

'Greenlander [F.]'

islænderinde

'Icelander [F.]'

italienerinde

'Italian person [F.]'

kreolerinde

'Creole person [F.]'

københavnerinde

'Copenhagener [F.]'

pariserinde

'Parisian [F.]'

spanierinde

'Spanish person [F.]'


NOUNS ENDING IN -SKE


MASCULINE


FEMININE

-

arbejder

'worker [M.]'

-

-

-

nabo

'neighbor [M.]'

samlever

'cohabitee [M.]'

-

-

plejerske

'nurse [F.]'

arbejderske

'worker [F.]'

buntmagerske

''

genboerske

''

løgnerske

'liar FFF'

naboerske

'neighbor [F.]'

samleverske

'cohabitee [F.]'

syerske

'seamstress'

husholderske

'housekeeper'


NOUNS ENDING IN -ESSE


MASCULINE


FEMININE

prins

'prince'

baron

'baron'

-

-

prinsesse

'princess'

baronesse

'baroness'

komtesse

'countess'

stewardesse

'stewardess'


NOUNS WITH OTHER SUFFIXES


MASCULINE


FEMININE

This category includes nouns with other feminine suffixes, e.g. -ette, -ina, -ine, -isse, etc.

-

-

fætter

'cousin [M.]'

-

massør

'masseur'

markis

'marquess'

suffragette

'suffragette'

ballerina

'ballerina'

kusine

'cousin [F.]'

abbedisse

'abbess'

massøse

'masseuse'

markise

'marchioness'


OTHER LEXICAL GENDER ITEMS


MASCULINE


FEMININE

This category includes noun pairs that form masculine-feminine gendered distinctions in ways that transcend definitions of morphological gender inflection. In other words, they do not differ minimally by the presence or absence of a feminine gender morpheme, but by some other feature(s).

dreng

'boy'

konge

'king'

far, fader

'father'

søn

'son'

bror, broder

'brother'

onkel

'uncle'

nevø

'nephew'

svoger

'brother-in-law'

fætter

'cousin [M.]'

friherre

'baron [M.]'

pige

'girl'

dronning

'queen'

mor, moder

'mother'

datter

'daughter'

søster

'sister'

tante

'aunt'

niece

'niece'

svigerinde

'sister-in-law'

kusine

'cousin [F.]'

frifrue

'baronness'



CITE THIS PAGE

APA 7

Papadopoulos, B., & Hjorth Miltersen, E. (2022). Danish lexical gender items. Gender in Language Project. www.genderinlanguage.com/danish/nouns



REFERENCES

Eberhard, D. M., Simons, G. F., and Fennig, C. D. (2021). Ethnologue: Languages of the World. SIL International. https://www.ethnologue.org

Hjorth Miltersen, E. (2018). De, den, hen, and the rest: A pilot study of the use of gender-neutral and nonbinary/genderqueer pronouns in Danish. Journal of Language Works, 3(1), 31-42.

Hjorth Miltersen, E. (2021, May 21). Gender neutral and nonbinary pronouns in Danish [Conference session]. 27th Annual Lavender Languages and Linguistics Conference, held virtually.

Lundskær-Nielsen, T. & Holmes, P. (2011). Danish: An essential grammar (2nd ed.). Routledge.

Samtalegrammatik.dk. (2014). Dansk samtalegrammatik. Samtalegrammatik.dk.