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 Wizard, Wizardess or Wizardress?
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Shayan
Seeker

Australia
25 Posts

Posted - 17 Oct 2005 :  13:15:31  Show Profile  Visit Shayan's Homepage Send Shayan a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Personally I hate referring to female characters with the names of professions that are primarily associated to their male counter parts.
Sorcerer, and Wizard.

I know that female Sorcerers are called Sorceresses.

But what are female Wizards called? I've read in some FR book, they were referred to as "Wizardress". But this has been challenged... is it: "Wizardess" or "Wizardress" or just "Wizard" (I sure hope not!). The great ether library of Google has many texts on both... which some what adds to the confusion...

Someone please tell me where to buy FR books in Australia!! Pretty Please...
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Kentinal
Great Reader

4023 Posts

Posted - 17 Oct 2005 :  13:57:29  Show Profile Send Kentinal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well I hit two online dictionaries and niether has Wizardress nor Wizardess. One indicated Wizards were only males the other was gender silent.

Sean K Reynolds at http://www.seankreynolds.com/rpgfiles/rants/terminology.html offers this comment
quote:
Other mini-rants about terminology:

Don't use the term "sorcery" to describe arcane magic. Officially, "sorcery" doesn't have a meaning in D&D. Informally, I use "sorcery" to mean "magic that originates from people of the sorcerer class" (and, equally informally, I use "wizardry" to mean "magic that originates from people of the wizard class"). The official generic term for "stuff having to do with arcane magic" is "arcane."

"Sorcerer" is a class name. Don't use it to mean "a person who can cast arcane spells." It means "a person of the sorcerer class." You wouldn't use the term "cleric" to describe any divine spellcaster, so don't use "sorcerer" (or, for that matter, "wizard") to describe any arcane spellcaster. The generic term for "arcane spellcaster" is "arcane spellcaster" or "mage."

Don't use the word "sorceress" to mean "a female person of the sorcerer class." You don't say "wizardess," "fighteress," "clericess," "druidess," or any other feminine forms of class names, nor do you feminize racial names ("elfess," "halflingess," "dwarfess," and so on). It's best to just not use the word "sorceress" at all. "


You are free to do as you wish.


"Small beings can have small wisdom," the dragon said. "And small wise beings are better than small fools. Listen: Wisdom is caring for afterwards."
"Caring for afterwards ...? Ker repeated this without understanding.
"After action, afterwards," the dragon said. "Choose the afterwards first, then the action. Fools choose action first."
"Judgement" copyright 2003 by Elizabeth Moon

Edited by - Kentinal on 17 Oct 2005 14:06:07
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Crennen FaerieBane
Master of Realmslore

USA
1378 Posts

Posted - 17 Oct 2005 :  15:28:23  Show Profile  Click to see Crennen FaerieBane's MSN Messenger address Send Crennen FaerieBane a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I usually try to avoid referring to a person's actual class in my games (i.e. Clerics become priest, pontiff, crusader, etc.).

I think that when you have people in the world know you by class it gets kind of Everquestish, which to me, is a very bad thing.

C-Fb

Still rockin' the Fey'ri style.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
26526 Posts

Posted - 17 Oct 2005 :  17:21:46  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I had a friend that insisted on feminizing words for female characters... Seeing words like "weretigress", "rangeress", and "wizardess" were very jarring for me, and I hounded him about that until he stopped doing it.

Personally, I don't see that class names are gender-specific... But I suppose an alternative to feminizing a word would be to create an all-female order, and let the character be part of that order... Kinda like Rashemen's Witches.

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Rinonalyrna Fathomlin
Great Reader

USA
7106 Posts

Posted - 17 Oct 2005 :  21:58:32  Show Profile  Visit Rinonalyrna Fathomlin's Homepage Send Rinonalyrna Fathomlin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I agree, and I agree with SKR, although he seemed to have neglected the term "priestess", which is commonly used in fantasy worlds (and in the real world, too).

But I don't think it's necessary or even desirable to feminize class names. Let's face it, some of them just plain sound stupid:

"Wizardess" or "Wizardress"
"weretigress"
"rangeress"
"fighteress"
"clericess"

Yuck!

"Instead of asking why we sleep, it might make sense to ask why we wake. Perchance we live to dream. From that perspective, the sea of troubles we navigate in the workaday world might be the price we pay for admission to another night in the world of dreams."
--Richard Greene (letter to Time)
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Kianna
Learned Scribe

USA
155 Posts

Posted - 18 Oct 2005 :  02:26:03  Show Profile  Visit Kianna's Homepage  Click to see Kianna's MSN Messenger address Send Kianna a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I use wizardess and see nothing wrong with it. I think its cute.

Basically I think the majority of classes though are unisex sounding enough as it is.

Huzzah!
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Kuje
Great Reader

USA
7889 Posts

Posted - 18 Oct 2005 :  02:29:05  Show Profile  Send Kuje an AOL message  Click to see Kuje's MSN Messenger address  Send Kuje a Yahoo! Message Send Kuje a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Kianna

I use wizardess and see nothing wrong with it. I think its cute.

Basically I think the majority of classes though are unisex sounding enough as it is.



So do I on both points. :)

For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet and excite you... Books are full of the things that you don't get in real life - wonderful, lyrical language, for instance, right off the bat. - Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird

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Crennen FaerieBane
Master of Realmslore

USA
1378 Posts

Posted - 18 Oct 2005 :  02:30:13  Show Profile  Click to see Crennen FaerieBane's MSN Messenger address Send Crennen FaerieBane a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Actually, I would prefer, instead of -ess, more of a cute sounding class name like:

Rangerette
Roguette
Barbariette

Those are cool.

C-Fb

P.s. - that was a joke.

Still rockin' the Fey'ri style.
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Kianna
Learned Scribe

USA
155 Posts

Posted - 18 Oct 2005 :  02:31:05  Show Profile  Visit Kianna's Homepage  Click to see Kianna's MSN Messenger address Send Kianna a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Wizardette?

Sounds French!

Or something that removes hair...

Huzzah!
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Dargoth
Great Reader

Australia
4372 Posts

Posted - 18 Oct 2005 :  02:42:31  Show Profile  Visit Dargoth's Homepage Send Dargoth a Private Message  Reply with Quote
You could always use the old 1ed PHB which had titles for every class and level.

Eric Boyd took this one step further in F&P, P&P DhD and gave a title for each cleric level which differed depending on which god they followed

“I am the King of Rome, and above grammar”

Emperor Sigismund

"Its good to be the King!"

Mel Brooks
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Chosen of Bane
Senior Scribe

USA
552 Posts

Posted - 18 Oct 2005 :  03:23:33  Show Profile  Visit Chosen of Bane's Homepage  Send Chosen of Bane an AOL message Send Chosen of Bane a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have no beef with the term Wizardess. However, I agree with CrennenFaerieBane, I try not to use the players class in game to describe them.

Especially Barbarian. To me that is a condescending term describing a primitive type of people. In game my barbarians refer to themselves as warriors, soldiers, mercenaries, or berzerkers depending on what they do for a living.

Fighter sounds lame too, in game all my fighters go by warrior as well. They can also go by Archer, Swordsman, or whatever else describes their trade.

Clerics go by Acolytes, Priests, etc...

Sorcerer and Wizard are used interchangably in my games and mage is also thrown in to describe both.

Anybody who takes things that aren't theirs whether by stealth (rogue), force (fighter), or magic (wizard) is a thief in my games. You don't need a high dex and tons of skill points to be a thief.

Just how I run it in my games, but on the gender thing... I'll use priestess or witch but that's about it for female only terms. Although I don't think Wizardess sounds bad, I don't tend to use it.

Edited by - Chosen of Bane on 18 Oct 2005 03:24:44
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Shayan
Seeker

Australia
25 Posts

Posted - 18 Oct 2005 :  15:01:20  Show Profile  Visit Shayan's Homepage Send Shayan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I of course do not try to feminize terms classes such as Barbarians, or fighters etc. I do use "sorceress" and "priestess" or "witch" and will continue to do so. The kind of characters I play, use formal titles when addressing other characters as much as possible. IE: "Greetings lady sorceress."

I KNOW I've read "wizardress" in either: 'The Best of the Realms' or 'Daughter of the Drow'. It is unlikely in the latter, so it must be in the former... if only my friend will return it, I can seek and comfirm it >.<

Thank you all for your input.

Someone please tell me where to buy FR books in Australia!! Pretty Please...
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
26526 Posts

Posted - 18 Oct 2005 :  17:23:53  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Shayan

I of course do not try to feminize terms classes such as Barbarians, or fighters etc. I do use "sorceress" and "priestess" or "witch" and will continue to do so. The kind of characters I play, use formal titles when addressing other characters as much as possible. IE: "Greetings lady sorceress."

I KNOW I've read "wizardress" in either: 'The Best of the Realms' or 'Daughter of the Drow'. It is unlikely in the latter, so it must be in the former... if only my friend will return it, I can seek and comfirm it >.<

Thank you all for your input.



I'm sure it has appeared in print... And I know the term "she-mage" has appeared in print, too. Still, other than sorceress or priestess, I'd assume all class names to be gender-neutral (with obvious exceptions for gender-specific PrCs).

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Rinonalyrna Fathomlin
Great Reader

USA
7106 Posts

Posted - 18 Oct 2005 :  20:11:24  Show Profile  Visit Rinonalyrna Fathomlin's Homepage Send Rinonalyrna Fathomlin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've read "wizardess" before in published fiction, but to me it sounds more awkward than cute.

"Witch" I do like though.

quote:
Originally posted by Chosen of Bane


Especially Barbarian. To me that is a condescending term describing a primitive type of people.




That's a good point!

"Instead of asking why we sleep, it might make sense to ask why we wake. Perchance we live to dream. From that perspective, the sea of troubles we navigate in the workaday world might be the price we pay for admission to another night in the world of dreams."
--Richard Greene (letter to Time)
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Crennen FaerieBane
Master of Realmslore

USA
1378 Posts

Posted - 18 Oct 2005 :  22:40:43  Show Profile  Click to see Crennen FaerieBane's MSN Messenger address Send Crennen FaerieBane a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hey, RF, how about Wizardette? I think it's less awkward than Wizardess. Not very respectful, though!

C-Fb

Still rockin' the Fey'ri style.
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Rinonalyrna Fathomlin
Great Reader

USA
7106 Posts

Posted - 19 Oct 2005 :  20:15:37  Show Profile  Visit Rinonalyrna Fathomlin's Homepage Send Rinonalyrna Fathomlin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by CrennenFaerieBane

Hey, RF, how about Wizardette? I think it's less awkward than Wizardess. Not very respectful, though!

C-Fb



*laughs* No... Again, it's rather awkward. There's nothing wrong with wizardette, or wizardess, it's just that it doesn't roll off the tongue nicely the way "wizard" does. I play NWN, and I feel the same way about the term "henchwoman" (henchman is a neutral term!).

"Instead of asking why we sleep, it might make sense to ask why we wake. Perchance we live to dream. From that perspective, the sea of troubles we navigate in the workaday world might be the price we pay for admission to another night in the world of dreams."
--Richard Greene (letter to Time)
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Beirnadri Magranth
Senior Scribe

USA
720 Posts

Posted - 23 Oct 2005 :  18:23:21  Show Profile  Visit Beirnadri Magranth's Homepage  Send Beirnadri Magranth an AOL message Send Beirnadri Magranth a Private Message  Reply with Quote
this is one of the problems with fantasy, word inflation.... since english has limited number of words describing these things (since they are uncommon, fantastic) we are stuck with the same words over and over again. in the real world sorcerer and wizard mean the same thing as does mage etc. and enchanter and necromancer mean the same as well... its only d&d that makes the difference. i only use the game terms wizard and sorcerer in out of character speech. Otherwise its best to interchange the words to keep their synonomous traditional meanings, which is what would happen in FR also. the terms wizard, sorceror cleric, etc. are all d&d jargon and shouldn't retain their limited meanings when in story telling.

"You came here to be a martyr in a great big bang of glory... instead you will die with a whimper."
::moussaoui tries to interrupt::
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Darkheyr
Learned Scribe

241 Posts

Posted - 24 Oct 2005 :  10:32:38  Show Profile  Visit Darkheyr's Homepage  Send Darkheyr an ICQ Message  Click to see Darkheyr's MSN Messenger address Send Darkheyr a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, it depends. The general populace or simply unknowing adventurers don't get the diff between a sorcerer and a wizard. However, one of my wizard PCs never gets tired of explaining said difference (yes, he has a dislike for sorcerers) and I think its not farfetched to assume that sages and wizards actually differ between the two.

On the other hand, my epic sorcerer/wizard does her best to blur those lines again.... :P
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Murray Leeder
Forgotten Realms Author

Canada
218 Posts

Posted - 24 Oct 2005 :  20:55:23  Show Profile  Visit Murray Leeder's Homepage  Reply with Quote
For what it's worth, the word "sorceress" does appear in the Forgotten Realms Style Guide.
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Khaa
Learned Scribe

USA
80 Posts

Posted - 28 Oct 2005 :  14:42:03  Show Profile  Visit Khaa's Homepage Send Khaa a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I would go for wizardess.

Ever want another forum? Well try out www.icewinddale.com
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Misericordia
Seeker

Italy
66 Posts

Posted - 28 Oct 2005 :  16:13:58  Show Profile  Visit Misericordia's Homepage Send Misericordia a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Use italian, we've feminine for almost everything!

Wizard-Mago, Wizardess-Maga, and so on, with o for male and a for women!

Omnia sunt communia.
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Winterfox
Senior Scribe

895 Posts

Posted - 05 Nov 2005 :  18:56:49  Show Profile  Visit Winterfox's Homepage Send Winterfox a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I vote that we start using the word "womaness".
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Kentinal
Great Reader

4023 Posts

Posted - 05 Nov 2005 :  19:14:28  Show Profile Send Kentinal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
No that does not work, human and humaness or perhaps male and maleness or man and maness *Grin*

"Small beings can have small wisdom," the dragon said. "And small wise beings are better than small fools. Listen: Wisdom is caring for afterwards."
"Caring for afterwards ...? Ker repeated this without understanding.
"After action, afterwards," the dragon said. "Choose the afterwards first, then the action. Fools choose action first."
"Judgement" copyright 2003 by Elizabeth Moon
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Kajehase
Great Reader

Sweden
2097 Posts

Posted - 05 Nov 2005 :  19:48:24  Show Profile Send Kajehase a Private Message  Reply with Quote
How about girlette?

And has anyone suggested wizardeuse yet?

There is a rumour going around that I have found god. I think is unlikely because I have enough difficulty finding my keys, and there is empirical evidence that they exist.
Terry Pratchett
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
26526 Posts

Posted - 05 Nov 2005 :  19:49:23  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
How about person and personess?

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
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-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

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Kianna
Learned Scribe

USA
155 Posts

Posted - 05 Nov 2005 :  20:47:46  Show Profile  Visit Kianna's Homepage  Click to see Kianna's MSN Messenger address Send Kianna a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hottie and Hottiess?

Huzzah!
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