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'Manly' Words and Double Meanings

Whimsical collage of Greek sculpture in boxing gloves and other collage graphics around him

“Wow, that’s really manly of you, to be such a good person!” – Ancient Romans

As we continue our study of etymology, it may amuse (annoy? probably not surprise…) you to find sneaky double meanings in many English words, many of which are rather sexist.

For instance, since the Latin root “vir” meant “man,” many of our “vir” words have an element of “manliness” built into them. 

Are you virtuous? Well, if you’re a man, that means you’re a good man. And if you’re a woman?

You’re good…like a man, I guess?

So women can be good like men, but if we become too manly (a.ka. strong or opinionated)?

Well, then we become viragos, which is SAT-speak for “ballbuster.” 

The list of funny “man” words and their origins goes on. If you want to learn the potential link to the word “virus” (and it’s probably NOT what you think!), have a listen to the entire episode below! 

Referenced In This Episode: 

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