at first, I believed seamster is a word supplied to deal with a male human who sews clothes and seamstress is provided to deal with a woman sewer. However there are different explanations online. FineDictionary and also MW explain seamster together a gender-neutral noun.

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If this descriptions space correct, what is the male variation of seamstress? deserve to someone throw light top top this topic?



Seamstress is the term that is tho used:

a mrs who deserve to sew and make clothing or whose job is sewing and also making clothes. (OLD)

It derives from seamster, i beg your pardon is gender-neutral but additionally quite rarely ( view Ngram ):

seamstress (n.):

1640s, through -ess + seamster (also sempster), indigenous Old seamestre "sewer, tailor, human whose work-related is sewing," from seam. Originally describe a woman, but after a if the fem. Ending -estre no longer was felt as such and also a new one added.



Michael Quinion, Ologies and Isms: native Beginnings and Endings (2002), component of the Oxford Paperback reference series, has this say about the suffix -ster:

-ster A human being or thing linked with a an task or quality. Old -estre, -istre, etc.

Early examples referred come a woman engaged in one occupation, such together brewster, maltster, and also spinster, this last originally "a woman that spins" (the finishing was the feminine indistinguishable of words finishing in -ere, which later came to be -er; . It has actually long been extended to activities undertaken by males such together chorister or teamster. Indigenous in which it describes a characteristics of the person encompass youngster and also the US-derived oldster, and hipster (a human being who is hip, who follows the latest trends and fashions). Much less often, the ending refers to objects, roadster gift a rarely example.

It often has a derogatory sense: tipster, rhymester, prankster. Plenty of of these are much more common in the us than in Britain: gamester, gangster, huckster, jokester, mobster, punster, trickster. Such terms continue to be developed , again most generally in the US: popster, hypester, soulster, scamster.

Master comes from Old mæg(i)ster, but derives from Latin magister (see also -MEISTER; others that derive native from Latin words v the same ending encompass minister and also barrister (formed indigenous bar in imitation that minister), as execute nouns finishing in -ASTER (such together poetaster). In indigenous such together boaster, jester, broadcaster, and protester the suffix is -er ... ~ above a stem ending in st.

Joseph Shipley, Dictionary of indigenous Origins (1945) uses a comparable discussion the -ster in his entry because that spinster, although the alludes to the type sempster, rather than seamster:

spinster. Obviously, one the spins. But it is the suffix that has actually the story. Originally, it was feminine only, and was used in job once carried on through women—since taken over by men, and the native lost, though some of them re maintained as names, e.g., Baxter, native bakester, of i beg your pardon the masculine given name to be Baker. As men did the work, several of the words had a second feminine suffix added, to suggest women: sempster, whence sempstress; songster, whence songsteress. Applied to men, the suffix usually shows inferiority (rhymester) or other negative traits (punster, gangster, trickster); this is even an ext apparent in the LL. Type of the suffix (which is originally the combination of Sansk. —as— —tar); poetaster. (Minister, magistrate, are developed with the Sansk. Comparative suffixes —yans— —tara; cp. month: May.)

Merriam-Webster"s Eleventh Collegiate Dictionary (2003) confirms the gist the Quinion"s (and Shipley"s) analysis as it uses to seamster:

seamster n ME semester, semster, fr. OE sēamestre, seamstress, tailor, fr. sēam, seam (bef. 12c) : a person employed in sewing; esp: TAILOR.

The Eleventh Collegiate likewise has an entry because that seamstress:

seamstress n (1598): a mrs whose occupation is sewing.

The upshot of this discussions is that seamster/sempster to be itself initially a gender-specific term, the sex being female, and that when the term started to lose its gender specificity, it to be feminized a 2nd time to seamstress once a mrs was intended. This left seamster/sempster, by default, together a neutral or vaguely masculine term—but keep in mind that the term go not transition to seamer, top top the sample of brewster (to brewer) or bakester (to baker). Thus, one can argue that etymologically seamster is actually a much less gender-specific ax than, say, brewer or baker.

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However, such an debate fails to recognize the effect that the existence of seamstress/sempstress has actually on the situation. Due to the fact that a clearly female-specific ax exists, the alternative term take away on a woman implication that it objectively doesn"t have. Similarly, although men and also women deserve to be gibbs or poets, the existence of actress and also poetess together female-specific terms indicates a maleness come the unfeminized ax that, objectively, isn"t there. Yet unlike actor/actress and poet/poetess, seamster/seamstress and sempster/sempstress are pairs in i beg your pardon the emphatically female-specific type is far more common 보다 the the neutral or quasi-male-specific form, as this Ngram chart of seamster (blue line) matches seamstress (red line) versus sempster (green line) matches sempstress (yellow line) for the duration 1720–2008 provides clear:


In the modern-day world, that is difficult to check out why the gender of the human pursuing one occupation must be appropriate to the form of words use to characterize the or her as a person engaged in that occupation. Yet given that the female-specific seamstress restrict the field of intake in the seamster/seamstress/sempster/sempstress bundle the terms, seamster seems fairly poorly positioned to allude the means to a gender-neutral future. In the lengthy term, ns think, it is more likely the the entire group of seamster/seamstress/sempster/sempstress state will progressively drop out of use in donate of gender-neutral usage of tailor. Nevertheless, together the Ngram chart above indicates, seamstress has actually become considerably much more frequent in the Google books database over the past 50 years, and it is not impossible that female-specific seamstress and gender-neutral or quasi-male-specific seamster will continue to be in use indefinitely.