Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Aviatrices and Other Powerful Women

My mammals are up to date. Kolinsky Air doesn't warrant a call at this time, I'm waiting on some information before calling Quoll Air, and Shrew Air appears to be having financial difficulties that suggest they will be shedding not hiring pilots this year. I've also been talking to a few other companies, that remain unnamed because I haven't had anything to say about them. My duties fulfilled, I'm now allowed to blog.

I've always liked the word aviatrix. It's a specifically female form of the word aviator that doesn't appear to diminish the main meaning as the feminizing endings -ess or -ette seem to on some words. It even has an interesting plural form, aviatrices. Too bad for men, who only get to be aviators, and women can be aviators too.

Although Aviatrix is my handle here, I don't have a monopoly on the word, of course. The address aviatrix.blogspot.com wss taken when I signed up, sadly by someone who blogged once and abandoned the project, without so much as leaving an e-mail address so I could ask her nicely to surrender the URL. None of the Aviatrices in online forums (or fora if you prefer: I like latinate plurals, but I prefer the commonest form for intelligibility) is me. I've twice had people e-mail me to say they know who I am, either because they know someone else who goes by Aviatrix, or because they know a woman who flies and who has computer skills and thinks we're so rare they have it in one guess. Neither guess was right. It doesn't take much beyond finding the ON button to blog, and you can blog without even owning your own computer.

Aviatrix is a nice-sounding word, and it has interesting company. I know of six English words ending in -ix and denoting females. Five relate to sex, power, death or combinations thereof. The sixth is aviatrix. Does that mean flying is sex, power, and death all rolled into one?

As for the five other words, you probably thought of dominatrix, a well-known figure combining sex and power. Surrounding death we have the inheritrix, thanks to the powers of the executrix. Apparently a female director may be called a directrix, but I've never heard that one used.

The fifth is as good a word as firetruck; it starts with the same letter and is even naughtier, as it denotes a participant in an act that remains illegal in several US states. Last time I told it to someone she didn't quite believe it was a word, until she looked it up and declared it her new favourite word. I suspect this word may be the reason prostitutes are said to turn "tricks." The word is fellatrix. It's certainly classier than any of its synonyms.

And no, my real name isn't Beatrix.


Anonymous said...

All strength to your elbow. The more "ixs" the better.

Jeangenie said...

I had a great-aunt Beatrix.

There's also a 'testatrix' - a woman leaving a will. :)

Anonymous said...

"[...] flying is sex, power, and death all rolled into one"

I love it.

Regarding your overqualification problem: at least you aren't stuck outside of traffic with less than thirty hours.