Concubin [masculine concubine?]

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Fabiola79

Banned
Polish
Hi,

Is there a masculine word for 'concubine' ?
I would say 'concubin'.

What do you think about it ?

Thank you for your answer.
 
  • boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    I think inventing new words is riskier than using a word that people already know in the right context to talk about a male concubine. :D I, for one, would probably think you had simply misspelt 'concubine'.

    This said, I would not ever use this word to describe this relationship because to me 'concubine' is always in the feminine. Maybe if you give us a sentence with a gap where you want this word to fit people will be able to suggest something better. The closest I can think of is gigolo, but I doubt it serves your purpose...
     
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    heypresto

    Senior Member
    English - England
    The OED doesn't list it, but who knows, if you use it and it catches on and gets into print a few times, it could appear in the next, or some future, edition. ;)


    Cross-posted.
     

    Biffo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Like boozer I would assume a spelling mistake. I can think of several possible words but it depends very much on context. The problem is that concubinage has a long history in a number of cultures including, I believe, present day Islam. Because it is and has been a legal concept I am not aware that a similar opposite situation was ever sanctioned.

    Please provide a context and a sentence as boozer suggests :) Please say what you mean by concubine.

    P.S. It might also be useful to say whether the word is primarily intended to refer to hetero or homosexual relationships or whether it is specifically to be gender neutral. I say this because concubinage specifically refers to a male-female relationship where the man financially or materially supports the woman.
     
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    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    There are a few words borrowed from French that use that pattern (blond/blonde, fiance/fiancee are the only ones I can think of and we're trying to get rid of those differences :)) but there's no difference in pronunciation. That's a necessary 'silent e' however. Where do you keep the concs? In the concubin - a bin for concs. ;)
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    Fabiola79. You have already been asked for context and a sentence to illustrate what you are trying to say. If you do not explain why and how you want to use a male equivalent for concubine it is impossible to offer a meaningful answer.

    Please remind yourself of The Longer Guide to English Only, particularly
    What we do in the English Only forum

    We answer specific questions about words or phrases in a complete sentence with context and background in a respectful, helpful and cordial manner.
    and provide the information members have asked you for.

    Andygc, moderator
     

    Fabiola79

    Banned
    Polish
    My definition of a male concubine:
    a male concubine ( concubin ) is almost husband of his almost wife ( a concubine );
    he is a partner of a concubine.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    In that case, there is no current English word. There was one, but it is now obsolete - from the OED
    c1430 Lydgate tr. Bochas Fall of Princes iii. xxiv. 95 a, Because she had had another concubyne.
    ?1529 R. Hyrde tr. J. L. Vives Instr. Christen Woman ii. iv. sig. b.ijv, Thou haste stomacke inough to handle the vyles and scabbes of thy concubyne.
    c1536 Indictment Anne Boleyn (Trench) , Her adulterers and concubines.
    It was "concubine"
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    So, we must say 'a male concubine' ?
    No, the word concubine is no longer used in English to refer to men, and doesn't appear to have been used that way for some 500 or more years. In current usage it only refers to a woman, and male concubine makes no sense. (would you write male woman?)
     

    lucas-sp

    Senior Member
    English - Californian
    You're talking about concubinage (an ongoing relationship without marriage), right?

    The problem is that there are a million different definitions of "concubine" - it's different in China than it is in the Confessions of St. Augustine and it's different in a different way in US history.

    Generally, only men can take concubines. Men can occasionally take male concubines (in Rome, they use the words concubina and concubinus to distinguish the genders). These are asymmetrical relationships.

    There are more symmetrical versions of concubinage in which both partners are of relatively equal status within the relationship. I presume both partners would be "concubines" in that situation.
     

    lucas-sp

    Senior Member
    English - Californian
    So, 'concubine' can be a man or a woman living in concubinage.
    Am I right ?
    I do not know. What situation of concubinage are you describing? When is this? What culture is it?

    In the vast majority of cases, "concubine" will neither A) refer to a symmetrical relationship nor B) suggest anything except a female.
     

    Fabiola79

    Banned
    Polish
    May we call 'a male concubine' a man who lives in concubinage with a concubine ?
    How may we call him ?
    We say 'male prostitute', so can we say 'male concubine' ?
    I'm talking about modern western culture.
     
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    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I'm talking about modern western culture.
    There are no (or very few) male concubines in modern western culture therefore there is no word and there does not need to be a word. It's like asking what is the word for pigs with wings. It's interesting to think about, but it's not really useful.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Fabiola, I think you need to explain the precise situation you're thinking about:).

    Are you thinking about the - very common - situation of a man and woman who live together without being married?
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Thank you for the clarification, Fabiola:).

    In English, we don't use the term "concubine" or "concubinage" to refer to that. In the past it was very common to talk about a man's "common-law wife" or a woman's "common-law husband" (despite the fact that neither the term "common-law wife" nor the term "common-law husband" has any status in law).

    Today, we'd simply refer to the woman as (for example) "John's partner", and the man as (for example) "Ann's partner".

    (cross-posted with Biffo)
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    I can think of no word that was originally solely feminine that has been changed to refer solely to a male. The second point is that the 'e' is not feminine.

    Here's a suggestion:
    catamite, n. A boy kept for homosexual practices; the passive partner in anal intercourse.


    1601 P. Holland tr. Pliny Hist. World I. 111 Called Cinedopolis, by reason of certain Catamites and shamefull baggages that king Alexander the Great left there.
    Catamite is an old-fashioned and uncommon word, (I can remember it from "The Trial of Oscar Wilde") and, like 99% of words and phrases referring to homosexuality, it is pejorative.


    The problem for having a word for a male concubine is that, although a woman who is permanently cohabiting with a man may be married to him or not married to him and thus be a wife, or a "common-law wife", i.e. concubine, until very recent times, the only possible state for males in a similar position was 'unmarried' and therefore no such distinguishing category was required.
     

    boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    On a side note, I cannot get myself to pronounce 'concubin'. It sounds in my head (I dare not voice it :D ) as 'con Cuban'...
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I think we're probably sorted, boozer: I suspect that what Fabiola's looking for is the word "partner".

    That said, it would be really helpful if Fabiola could provide us with a complete sentence into which she wanted to fit the word....:).
     

    Fabiola79

    Banned
    Polish
    It may be simply 'partner'. 'Concubine' and 'concubinage' are old-fashioned.
    Am I right ?

    Thank you for interesting discussion.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Well, it's more that "concubine" and "concubinage" have, in English, very specific meanings which don't - usually - relate to the meaning you're apparently looking for.

    As requested, can you give us a sentence into which you want to put the word you're looking for?
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    'Concubine' and 'concubinage' are old-fashioned.
    It's not just old-fashioned. Concubinage refers to a specific and quite in-equal relationship between the two people.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concubinage
    Concubinage is an interpersonal relationship in which a person engages in an ongoing relationship (usually matrimonially oriented) with another person to whom they are not or cannot be married; the inability to marry is usually due to a difference in social status or economic condition. Historically, the relationship involved a man in a higher status position, usually with a legally sanctioned wife, who maintains a second household with the lesser "wife". The woman in such a relationship is referred to as a concubine.
    Only one person in the relationship is the concubine.
     

    Biffo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Is it possible to say 'man in concubinage' ?
    Fabiola - we are trying to help you but you do not answer any of our questions. You already asked this exact question in post #21.

    If you want us to answer you need to read our replies and provide the context we keep asking for.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Is it possible to say 'man in concubinage' ?
    No, and for the reasons I gave. Forget trying to make "concubine" fit a male. It is not going to work

    As a word, concubine is out-dated. As a social phenomenon, the concept is more popular than ever but you would be punched for referring to a woman as a concubine and referring to a man as a concubin is silly.

    At the very best, concubine is out dated, save to those who speak nothing but the language of Shakespeare and the King James Bible.
     

    Biffo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Furthermore, if you called a modern-day woman a concubine she would be highly insulted.

    Concubine is the wrong word no matter how you try to change it.
     

    morior_invictus

    Senior Member
    Slovak
    Maybe a French woman in this kind of relationship (aka "la concubine", as a female equivalent of male "le concubin") wouldn`t be insulted. :D
    Now in the early twenty-first century, as increasing numbers of men and women in Euro-America choose to live together without marrying, the word concubinage has taken on new legal, social, and cultural meanings. In France concubinage is the official term for the cohabitation of heterosexual and (since 1998) homosexual couples. But concubinage in other societies outside Euro-America probably continues to carry a social stigma.
    Source: Essay on Concubines and Concubinage
    But as mentioned a few times above, if you want us to answer your problem about a concubinage/union libre/domestic partnership/cohabitation, Fabiola please...
    ...provide the context we keep asking for.
     
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    The_Moonlight

    Banned
    Polish
    That may actually turn out more cultural question. I venture a guess Fabiola doesn't mean the Western culture but the Polish one where there exists a term for a man who remains in a relationship with a woman without marriage (mind you, this word, both for a man and woman are strictly legal and have highly pejorative associations).
    Fabiola, there's no need for you to grow impatient. I daresay the notion of concubinage in the Polish sense is most likely nonexistent in English.
     

    Biffo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    My sentence:
    A concubin is a man who lives in concubinage with his concubine.
    My suggestion

    A cohabitee is a person (of either gender) who cohabits with another person as husband and wife.

    ______________________________________________________________________

    Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

    cohabit /kəʊˈhæbɪt/vb

    • (intransitive) to live together as husband and wife, esp without being married

    Etymology: 16th Century: via Late Latin, from Latin co- together +habitāre to live

    ˌcohabiˈtee, coˈhabitant, coˈhabitern
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    My sentence:
    A concubin is a man who lives in a concubinage with his concubine.
    Fabiola, the problem we're having is that:
    ~ the word "concubin" doesn't exist in English.
    ~ "concubine" and "concubinage" mean something different in English from the similar-sounding words in Polish.

    We might talk about a sultan having many concubines in his harem; we don't talk about Mr Smith next door having a concubine, or living in concubinage.

    So it would be helpful if you could tell us about the sort of situation you're thinking of.
     

    Biffo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    My final attempt at an answer:

    1. The word "concubin" (the male form of the word concubine) does exist in some languages (e.g. French) but it does not exist in English.

    2. "concubinage" as a modern-day concept does exist in some European countries such as France where it means 'living together with a sexual partner'.

    3. These are not the words we use in English. In normal English usage 'concubine' and 'concubinage' have another meaning - that of financially or materially supporting another person in return for marital 'duties'.

    4. The technical word we use in English to describe "people who live together as man and wife without the benefit of marriage" is "cohabitee(s)".

    5. In English the word 'cohabitee' (alternatively cohabitant) is equally applied to males and females (it is gender-neutral).

    6. Related words are: to cohabit (verb) and cohabitation (noun)
     
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