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Woman Versus Female

Today's topic is whether you can use the word woman as an adjective.

By
Mignon Fogarty
1-minute read

Today's topic is whether you can use the word woman as an adjective.

Ann in Baltimore, Maryland, asked why people were referring to Nancy Pelosi as the woman Speaker of the House instead of the female speaker of the house, and Amy in Delaware asked a similar question a few days ago.

The bottom line is that although some reference books say it is OK to use woman as an adjective, it sounds strange to me, and I recommend using the word female instead.

Read more about the history of the word woman as an adjective.

Woman image courtesy of Shutterstock

About the Author

Mignon Fogarty

Mignon Fogarty is the founder of Quick and Dirty Tips and the author of seven books on language, including the New York Times bestseller "Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing." She is an inductee in the Podcasting Hall of Fame, and the show is a five-time winner of Best Education Podcast in the Podcast Awards. She has appeared as a guest expert on the Oprah Winfrey Show and the Today Show.

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