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--- In [log in to unmask], Ray Brown <ray.brown@F...> wrote:

>You thought quite correctly. It is what is often called _epicene_ -
>where sex is important it follows the natural sex/gender of the
>canine in question. If you couldn't care less whether the critter's
>a dog or a bitch, then the default gender is masculine.

A number of names for animals are epicene in English.  To specify sex
pairs such as cow/bull, buck/doe, stallion/mare are used.  The
word "dog" is different in that there is a special word for the
female of the species (bitch), but not for the male who is called
simply "dog."  I'm wondering if there is a name for this particular
phenomenon.  If not, I suggest the term "semi-epicene"!

Perhaps others in the list would share with us some of their animal
names, how they derived them and how they distinguish when the name
is epicene.

Charlie
http://wiki.frath.net/user:caerulean