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An idle thought - womanish versus womanly

(8 Posts)
broguemum Sun 07-Jun-09 11:02:21

Why is one insulting and the other complimentary? Any thoughts from the wise pedants of mumsnet?

noddyholder Sun 07-Jun-09 11:03:26

I think the sh sounds hard and the ly sounds soft and rounded and perhaps busty!grin

broguemum Sun 07-Jun-09 11:07:22

I like your theory but what about mannish and manly?

FigmentOfYourImagination Sun 07-Jun-09 11:09:33

is womanish a real word ? It doesn't sound right to me.

[realises she is probably in wrong place]

broguemum Sun 07-Jun-09 11:47:58

I am thinking of insults in Victorian dramas such as, "Desist with your womanish vapours!" and also, "She had a mannish figure."

'Twas an idle thought .

chocolateismyonlyweakness Sun 07-Jun-09 12:07:27

I am thinking of childish and childlike. One sounds negative, the other positive, I can see where you are coming from, broguemum.

DadInsteadofMum Mon 08-Jun-09 10:52:05

I think it is one of those irregular verbs. I am in touch with my inner child; you are childlike; (s)he is childish.

broguemum Tue 09-Jun-09 20:06:23

Good theory DadInsteadofMum but does not really answer why one is insulting and the other complimentary. I am perplexed. I will also have to go and google irregular verbs now...

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