"Fellow" is not gender specific (was Offshoot of warning labels(?))

Subject: "Fellow" is not gender specific (was Offshoot of warning labels(?))
From: Roy Jacobsen <Roy_Jacobsen -dot- GPS -at- GPS -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 18 Sep 1996 09:58:58 EDT

>Fellow writers: (Is the use of "fellow" sexist?
>It IS gender specific. Or used to be.)

>william_ps -at- usa -dot- com
>Who guards the guardians?

IMO "fellow" is NOT gender specific. From the Hypertext Webster Interface (at

1. fel.low \'fel-(.)o-, -*(-w)\ n [ME felawe, fr. OE fe-olaga, fr. ON fe-lagi,
fr. fe|B-lag partnership, fr. fe- cattle, money + lag
act of laying 1: COMRADE, ASSOCIATE 2a: an equal in rank, power, or character :
PEER 2b: one of a pair : MATE 3: a
member of a group having common characteristics; specif : a member of an
incorporated literary or scientific society obs 4a: a
person of one of the lower social classes 4b: a worthless or low man or boy 4c:
incorporated member of a college or collegiate foundation esp. in a British
university 6: a person appointed to a position
granting a stipend and allowing for advanced study

2. fellow aj : being a companion, mate, or associate

Notice that the ONLY meanings that have any gender reference is 4b, 4c, and 4d.
The majority of times I've heard it and used it, it is with the meanings
described in 1, 2 or 3.

Roy Jacobsen
rjacobse -at- gps -dot- com

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