Director vs directress

Hi all,

Director for a man.

Is directress for a lady?


Technically, yes, but I can honestly say I’ve never heard the term actually used.

Thanks Skrej.

Nor do we have Produceress.

I think the title refers to the job rather than to the gender.

This morning I said to an advisor in the office that he will be meeting with the director of news group on 4 p.m.

Because he ever met with the director (lady), so he confused with the word director. He confused and said ‘directress’? ‘a lady’?

So I answered Yes.

Strange though how we have Conductor and Conductress. Host and Hostess.

English eh!

No. That suffix is no longer acceptable in most contexts.

"Nouns in -ess denoting occupation or profession are rapidly disappearing from American English. The fourth edition of the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT), published by the U.S. Department of Labor in 1977, specifies genderless titles for thousands of occupations. Airlines now refer to cabin personnel as flight attendants, not stewards and stewardesses. In the arts, authoress, editress, poetess, sculptress, and similar terms are considered offensive by many and are almost always replaced by author, editor, poet, sculptor. Nouns in -ess designating the holder of public office are hardly ever encountered in modern American usage. Women holding the office of ambassador, mayor, or governor are referred to by those titles rather than by the older, sex-marked ambassadress, mayoress, or governess. (Governess has developed a special sense in relation to childcare; this use is less common in the U.S. than in Britain.) Among other terms almost never used in modern American English are ancestress, directress, instructress, manageress, oratress, and proprietress. If the sex of the performer is not relevant to performance of the task or function, the neutral term in -er or -or is now widely used.

Some nouns in -ess are still current: actress (but some women in the acting profession prefer to be called actors); adventuress; enchantress; heiress (largely in journalistic writing); hostess (but women who conduct radio and television programs are referred to as hosts); millionairess; murderess; postmistress (but not in official U.S. government use); seamstress; seductress; sorceress; temptress; and waitress (the DOT substitute server has not been widely adopted).

Jewess and Negress are generally considered offensive today. Mistress has given way to master in the sense of one who has acquired expertise in something: She is a master at interpreting financial reports."

Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2009.

Helol Kitosdad, Thanks for the comments.

This gender distinction referring to people involved in various activities has started disappearing. In big organizations the common gender is used.’ Chairman’ is disappearing giving way to ‘Chairperson’. Common words (like ‘actor, director’) are used for both the genders. Only those who have had their English taught by conservative UK teachers will still stress on these inflectional changes for genders. The fact is that genders alone exist and the inflectional changes have begun to disappear slowly.

Hello Nanucbe,

Thanks for your comments.