At first, I assumed seamster is a word offered to attend to a male person who sews clothes and also seamstress is provided to deal with a female sewer. Yet there are various explanations online. FineDictionary and MW define seamster together a gender-neutral noun.

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If this descriptions room correct, what is the male variation of seamstress? deserve to someone throw light ~ above this topic?


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Seamstress is the term that is still used:

a mrs who have the right to sew and make clothing or whose project is sewing and also making clothes. (OLD)

It derives native seamster, which is gender-neutral but additionally quite rarely ( check out Ngram ):

seamstress (n.):

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

(Etymonline)


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

-ster A person or thing connected with a an activity or quality. Old princetoneclub.org -estre, -istre, etc.

Early examples referred come a woman involved in one occupation, such together brewster, maltster, and also spinster, this last originally "a woman who spins" (the finishing was the feminine indistinguishable of words ending in -ere, i m sorry later came to be -er; . It has long been extended to tasks undertaken by men such as chorister or teamster. Words in i m sorry it refers to a properties of the person encompass youngster and also the US-derived oldster, and hipster (a human who is hip, who follows the recent trends and fashions). Much less often, the finishing refers come objects, roadster gift a rare example.

It regularly has a derogatory sense: tipster, rhymester, prankster. Numerous of this are more common in the united state than in Britain: gamester, gangster, huckster, jokester, mobster, punster, trickster. Together terms proceed to be developed , again most commonly in the US: popster, hypester, soulster, scamster.

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

Joseph Shipley, Dictionary of native Origins (1945) uses a similar discussion of -ster in his entry because that spinster, although the alludes come the form sempster, quite than seamster:

spinster. Obviously, one the spins. However it is the suffix that has actually the story. Originally, it was feminine only, and also was applied in occupations once carried on through women—since taken over by men, and also the words lost, though few of them re kept as names, e.g., Baxter, indigenous bakester, of which the masculine given name was Baker. As men did the work, few of the words had a 2nd feminine suffix added, to show women: sempster, whence sempstress; songster, whence songsteress. Used to men, the suffix usually indicates inferiority (rhymester) or other bad traits (punster, gangster, trickster); this is even an ext apparent in the LL. Type of the suffix (which is originally the mix of Sansk. —as— —tar); poetaster. (Minister, magistrate, are created 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 human being employed in sewing; esp: TAILOR.

The Eleventh Collegiate likewise has one entry because that seamstress:

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

The upshot of this discussions is that seamster/sempster to be itself originally a gender-specific term, the gender being female, and that once the term began to lose its sex specificity, it was feminized a second time come seamstress when a mrs was intended. This left seamster/sempster, by default, as a neutral or vaguely male term—but note that the term did not shift to seamer, top top the pattern of brewster (to brewer) or bakester (to baker). Thus, one can argue the etymologically seamster is in reality a much less gender-specific ax than, say, brewer or baker.

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However, such an dispute fails to acknowledge the impact that the visibility of seamstress/sempstress has actually on the situation. Because a plainly female-specific hatchet exists, the alternate term take away on a woman implication that it objectively doesn"t have. Similarly, although men and women deserve to be gibbs or poets, the presence of actress and poetess together female-specific terms implies a maleness to the unfeminized ax that, objectively, isn"t there. However unlike actor/actress and poet/poetess, seamster/seamstress and also sempster/sempstress space pairs in which the emphatically female-specific form is far much more common than the the neutral or quasi-male-specific form, together this Ngram chart of seamster (blue line) versus seamstress (red line) matches sempster (green line) versus sempstress (yellow line) for the period 1720–2008 makes clear:

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In the modern-day world, the is challenging to see why the sex of the human pursuing an occupation have to be pertinent to the type of words use come characterize that or her together a person involved in the occupation. However given the the female-specific seamstress dominates the ar of consumption in the seamster/seamstress/sempster/sempstress bundle of terms, seamster seems rather poorly positioned to suggest the way to a gender-neutral future. In the lengthy term, ns think, that is an ext likely the the whole group the seamster/seamstress/sempster/sempstress state will gradually drop the end of use in donate of gender-neutral use of tailor. Nevertheless, together the Ngram chart above indicates, seamstress has actually become considerably an ext frequent in the Google publications database over the previous 50 years, and it is not impossible that female-specific seamstress and gender-neutral or quasi-male-specific seamster will stay in usage indefinitely.