Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Death and Verbs

So the masculine of widow is widower, right? So if a man can kick the bucket and widow his wife, then shouldn’t a woman be able to die and widower her husband? Apparently not. The verb for both occasions is widow, regardless of gender. It’s probably for the best, since widowering is way awkward to say. (“I’m sorry, I can’t talk on the phone right now. I’m in the process of widowering my husband.”) This is good to know — when my friends’ spouses all start dying, I want to not offend them by using the wrong verb.

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