Romance languages: cognates with different genders

Angelo di fuoco

Senior Member
Russian & German (GER) bilingual
Just encountered an interesting one: tigre is shown in the dictionaries as masculine in Spanish, Portuguese, and French, but feminine in Italian (checked three different dictionaries, including a spagnolo-italiano one :) )...

I would think that it could probably be used either way in all four depending on the sex of the animal, but it's interesting that the default gender on this one differs from the others in Italian... I'm wondering why...
Essentially it's because in Italian the feminine gender of "tigre" is an innovation in relation to the older masculine gender.

tigre in Vocabolario - Treccani
 
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