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Does any culture have their own terms for aromantic or asexual?


Holmbo
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When it comes to homosexuality most cultures have older terms and euphemisms for it. I wonder if any culture has similar for aromantic and/or asexual. Have you heard of any?

I suppose some terms for singles, like confirmed bachelor, is kinda related. In Sweden there's also a term "gammelpojk" (=old boy) which meant a man who never married. However because of heteronormavity these terms usually just mean that someone doesn't have an interest in straight relationships.

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In Dutch there is no other term for aromantic/asexual people. There is one for the ‘eternally single’ woman though: ‘oude spinster’ of ‘oude vrijster’’. Oud/oude means ‘old/old one’.

It is a rather old fashioned term though, not really used a lot except by the older generation.

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On 10/9/2022 at 10:05 PM, Nix said:

In Dutch there is no other term for aromantic/asexual people. There is one for the ‘eternally single’ woman though: ‘oude spinster’ of ‘oude vrijster’’. Oud/oude means ‘old/old one’.

I'd categorize this as a slur. Also, doesn't mean "vrijster" virgin? Always those assumptions about aro/ace people.

On 10/9/2022 at 10:05 PM, Nix said:

It is a rather old fashioned term though, not really used a lot except by the older generation.

Good :aropride: "old spinster" still seems popular, though. 😕

A slightly less disparaging word in German: "Hagestolz", meaning roughly "confirmed (male) bachelor".

A word play on "Hagestalt": a small parcel of land, too small to provide for a family. And "Stolz" meaning "pride".

Yes, you're aro because you're poor and prideful, whatever...

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17 hours ago, DeltaAro said:

I'd categorize this as a slur. Also, doesn't mean "vrijster" virgin? Always those assumptions about aro/ace people.

It is definitely not meant as a nice term no. But 'vrijster' does not literally mean virgin; it is derived from the word 'vrijen' which means either 1) to have sex or 2) being available for marriage ('vrij' as in 'to be 'free' or available). The first meaning is what the word means now, the second meaning has fallen out of use but is the root for the word 'vrijster'.

So if you are an 'oude vrijster' you are apparently still available for marriage. And of course, since people were not supposed to have sex before marriage, the term did imply you were a virgin. 

17 hours ago, DeltaAro said:

A word play on "Hagestalt": a small parcel of land, too small to provide for a family. And "Stolz" meaning "pride".

Yes, you're aro because you're poor and prideful, whatever...

Wow that's a nasty implication too...

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2 hours ago, Nix said:

It is definitely not meant as a nice term no. But 'vrijster' does not literally mean virgin; it is derived from the word 'vrijen' which means either 1) to have sex or 2) being available for marriage ('vrij' as in 'to be 'free' or available). The first meaning is what the word means now, the second meaning has fallen out of use but is the root for the word 'vrijster'.

Oh yes, you're right. I remember "vrijgezel" = "single person".... 😑 The dictionary says "virgin" = "maagd". Quite archaic, always this weird connection between virginity and being a domestic servant...

Dutch is very perplexing for me, kind of like Low German. But worse. 🤪

I once watched Dutch news and confused "overlijden" with "overleven"... 😯

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23 minutes ago, DeltaAro said:

Oh yes, you're right. I remember "vrijgezel" = "single person".... 😑 The dictionary says "virgin" = "maagd". Quite archaic, always this weird connection between virginity and being a domestic servant...

Yes there is the ‘vrij’ = ‘free’ bit again. Very confusing. And the connection between a domestic servant (maagd) and virginity is not that farfetched, since they were mostly unmarried woman. Who were supposed to be virgins…

26 minutes ago, DeltaAro said:

Dutch is very perplexing for me, kind of like Low German. But worse. 🤪

If it is any consolation, it is a very perplexing language for many of the native speakers too. I scored bad to average in my Dutch classes in school.

28 minutes ago, DeltaAro said:

I once watched Dutch news and confused "overlijden" with "overleven"... 😯

Oh dear, that does change the meaning of that bit of news 😅 Reminds me of this poster (‘die’ in Dutch means ‘that one’, so it reads ‘Mommy, that one, that one, that one, please!):

9CC6B538-11F2-4623-BBCC-DE47C4E73504.jpeg.ad39daa49d664c26e75ab9e13b130048.jpeg

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 10/12/2022 at 4:59 PM, Nix said:

But 'vrijster' does not literally mean virgin; it is derived from the word 'vrijen' which means either 1) to have sex or 2) being available for marriage ('vrij' as in 'to be 'free' or available). The first meaning is what the word means now, the second meaning has fallen out of use but is the root for the word 'vrijster'.

It reminds me how in English, celibate means "don't have sex" but in French célibataire means "single". I think it is interesting cause it means that in etymology, the idea of not having sex and of being single were connected.

(i also think it is ironic cause of the stereotype of the single person who has a lot of one night stands, but that's another thing lol)

 

Now I don't think in French, we have terms that describe aromantic and asexuality (except now, aromantique and asexuel). We do have terms to describe people who never get married and presumely never have sex (cause you know, no sex if you are not married) : vieille fille (old girl) and vieux garçon (old boy). I think it is more pejorative for women (you know, the stereotype of the very strict woman who never has fun once in her life, and is of course this way because not being married frustrates her so much that she is mean with everyone...), but the origin of both terms is derogatory. Apparently there is no official origin of these terms but here's what I think I can't see how it can be otherwise : basically, you only become a man or a woman after marriage and/or have sex. So if you don't, you stay a boy or a girl even if you are old. So, vieille fille and vieux garçon. At least that's how I read it.

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On 10/27/2022 at 1:50 PM, nonmerci said:

It reminds me how in English, celibate means "don't have sex" but in French célibataire means "single". I think it is interesting cause it means that in etymology, the idea of not having sex and of being single were connected.

(i also think it is ironic cause of the stereotype of the single person who has a lot of one night stands, but that's another thing lol)

 

Now I don't think in French, we have terms that describe aromantic and asexuality (except now, aromantique and asexuel). We do have terms to describe people who never get married and presumely never have sex (cause you know, no sex if you are not married) : vieille fille (old girl) and vieux garçon (old boy). I think it is more pejorative for women (you know, the stereotype of the very strict woman who never has fun once in her life, and is of course this way because not being married frustrates her so much that she is mean with everyone...), but the origin of both terms is derogatory. Apparently there is no official origin of these terms but here's what I think I can't see how it can be otherwise : basically, you only become a man or a woman after marriage and/or have sex. So if you don't, you stay a boy or a girl even if you are old. So, vieille fille and vieux garçon. At least that's how I read it.

Same as in Sweden with gammelpojk = old boy

I've not heard any term for unmarried old women but now when I googled it they were apparently called gammelkulla in some places. Kulla just means unmarried woman as far as I can tell. Funnily the term for old married woman was kärring which now is an insult, similar to calling someone an old hag.

 

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