Ask A Linguist For October 1997 - December 1997
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Re: the masculine equivalent of a mistress

> From: Heather Thelwell <>

> I have a request for a term that is the masculine equivalent to the word
> mistress.  Recently I was engaged in a conversation about kept men and
> found myself at a loss for a word in the English language that conveys
> the same attitude as mistress.  The term gigolo has negative and
> derogatory connotations, as does cocubine.  Lover is not gender
> specific.  Can you offer any suggestions?
> Regards,
> Heather

     'Paramour' for one; 'lover' might do in some contexts, too. Though
neither quite implies a 'kept' man, since this kind of arrangement, at
least historically, either hasn't happened that much or hasn't been talked
about as much. 

					  Karen Steffen Chung		
					  National Taiwan University


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