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"Distaff" is a metonymy for the female side of a family (or society, I guess.)  What is the equivalent metonymy for the male side?


Oct. 26th, 2014 12:18 am (UTC)
That's what I'm thinking. BTW this is not a puzzle -- I really do wonder.
Oct. 26th, 2014 12:42 am (UTC)
In one of Cabell's stories (?Jurgen?) there's a wedding scene in which the bride carries a distaff and Jurgen (I'm fairly sure this is in Jurgen) carries a spear. However, I don't think that reflects anything linguistic, despite Anonymous above.

ETA: No! I am SO WRONG! I am sorry, Anonymous!

From OED2: spear-side (after OE. on spere-healfe), the male line of desc

So Cabell was making a joke; the spear is in the course of the ceremony used to pierce a veil.

Edited at 2014-10-26 12:46 am (UTC)
Oct. 26th, 2014 01:20 am (UTC)
Well well well. That is very cool. And how well you recovered.
Oct. 26th, 2014 08:25 am (UTC)
Interesting, in Swedish we talk of 'svärds-sidan'- the sword-side. The female equivalent is 'spinn-sidan' - the spinning side.
Oct. 26th, 2014 11:55 am (UTC)
We guys get the swords and spears, they sit and spin. "In the picture-language of mythology, Woman represents all that can be known; Man is the hero who comes to know it.” Campbell