puppeteer - puppetress?

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sibu

Senior Member
I'm wondering if I can use the female form "puppetress" to describe a female person who performs with puppets. Should I rather use female puppeteer instead?

Thank you for your help!
 
  • morzh

    Banned
    USA
    Russian
    I've never heard "puppetress". I am also sure that "creative" writing may allow such word to be created.
    In any case, even though I think it is not really a "street-legal" word, it would be perfectly understood by most of us here as a "female-puppeteer".
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I'm wondering if I can use the female form "puppetress" to describe a female person who performs with puppets. Should I rather use female puppeteer instead?

    Thank you for your help!
    Puppeteer is gender-neutral.
    If it is necessary to be more specific, the natural way to do that would be to refer to a male puppeteer or female puppeteer.
    It is not likely to be necessary.
     

    morzh

    Banned
    USA
    Russian
    Searching Google I found 6K+ results for "puppetress".

    I also tried "Puppetrix" and found 1.5K+ results for it.

    Just FYI.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Searching Google I found 6K+ results for "puppetress".

    I also tried "Puppetrix" and found 1.5K+ results for it.

    Just FYI.
    I looked at some of those, and at some of the examples in Google books.
    The word seemed to be quite unnecessary. For example:
    A remarkable puppetress, she makes the little doll appear lifelike in varying emotions.
    Using the unconventional word adds no information to the sentence.
     

    morzh

    Banned
    USA
    Russian
    Oh, I wholeheartedly agree and am not arguing the opposite; I am just stating the fact that some native English speakers sometimes act creative with the language within limits of understandability, and, knowing my language, I can state the same.
    Other than that, there are accepted ways of expressing certain things, and to me they should be adhered to most of the time. (though sometimes it is good, as otherwise we would not have Jabberwocky and such :) )
     

    cycloneviv

    Senior Member
    English - Australia
    I just clicked through on the results for "puppetress". In total, there are only around 350 individual pages. I noticed a couple that say something along the lines of "I'm not sure of the term 'puppetress'. I just made it up to refer to a female puppeteer."

    Puppetrix seems to be mostly used as the name of websites and/or companies who want to combine the idea of puppets and tricks (and perhaps dominatrix). On clicking through the results, there are once more just over 300 results.

    So, just FYI... Google search results are not reliable, or really very useful at all! ;)

    On the other hand, Google ngrams viewer shows the total number of published examples of puppetress and puppetrix between the years 1800 and 2000 to be a big fat zero.
     
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