Community Comment

FRIDAY, MAY 1, 2009, 5:12 A.M.

A Word A Day — pseudandry

Photo from Community Comment Archive (The Spokesman-Review)
Photo from Community Comment Archive (The Spokesman-Review)

with Anu Garg





noun: The use of a male name as a pseudonym by a woman.


Many women wrote under male pen names because in the 18th and 19th centuries it was considered scandalous for a woman to write a book. The English novelist Mary Ann Evans wrote as George Eliot. Also, in olden times, people didn't take a woman's writing seriously.
The counterpart of pseudandry is pseudogyny where a man takes a woman's name as a pseudonym. The rationale here is that people expect certain genres, such as romance, to be written by women.


From Greek pseudo (false) + andro (male).


"The first volume contains a short commentary by Dagon Khin Khin Lay in which she revealed her pseudandry and confessed that although she wrote these stories she did not believe in things supernatural."
Dagon Khin Khin Lay's Pseudandry; Myanmar Perspectives; 2000.


To be patriotic, hate all nations but your own; to be religious, all sects but your own; to be moral, all pretences but your own. -Lionel Strachey, writer and translator (1864-1927)

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