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  1. #1
    untaught1988 is offline Banned
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    Default Is the word "tailor" used for both men and women?

    Hi,

    When we use the word "rust", we say:
    "My bike rusted..."

    What to add before the word "rust" when we use it as a noun?
    "My bike had a rust." is it correct?

    Is the word "tailor" used for both men and women or we have to use "seamstress" for ladies who sew clothes?

    He/she is a tailor.
    She is a seamstress.

    Many thanks

  2. #2
    Ouisch's Avatar
    Ouisch is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Is the word "tailor" used for both men and women?

    You would say "My bike had rust" (usually you would be more specific, saying something like "My bike had rust on the fenders" or "My bike was covered with rust.")

    The word "tailor" is gender-neutral and refers to any person, male or female, who alters clothes. A seamstress sews or creates garments; a tailor takes an existing garment and alters it to fit a specific individual.

  3. #3
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Is the word "tailor" used for both men and women?

    A female tailor may choose to call herself a tailoress.

    That's her prerogative.

    Rover

  4. #4
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is the word "tailor" used for both men and women?

    Genuine inquiry - not an attempt to be sarcastic - do you really use or hear that term where you live?

    I've been married to someone who manages a men's retail store for a number of years, and I've only ever heard the tailors use "tailor," regardless of gender. The come from many countries - but none from the UK. So really, I'm asking in earnest.

    Thanks.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  5. #5
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Is the word "tailor" used for both men and women?

    I haven't heard it used- I think it's more of a possibility. There's also dressmaker, which I have heard used.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Is the word "tailor" used for both men and women?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ouisch View Post

    A seamstress sews or creates garments; a tailor takes an existing garment and alters it to fit a specific individual.
    I`m not sure that I agree with this statement. It seems to me that a tailorīs role is not limited to alterations. He (or she) does create garments (suits, coats) as well as alter them, but they are usually of a heavier fabric than those used by seamstresses or dressmakers.

  7. #7
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Is the word "tailor" used for both men and women?

    Barb asked
    Genuine inquiry - not an attempt to be sarcastic - do you really use or hear that term [tailoress] where you live?
    Not these days, but it was heard in the days when a female actor was an actress and a female author an authoress etc.

    Rover

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    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is the word "tailor" used for both men and women?

    I still struggle to remember that women choose to be "actors" these days.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  9. #9
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Is the word "tailor" used for both men and women?

    Quote Originally Posted by riquecohen View Post
    I`m not sure that I agree with this statement. It seems to me that a tailorīs role is not limited to alterations. He (or she) does create garments (suits, coats) as well as alter them, but they are usually of a heavier fabric than those used by seamstresses or dressmakers.
    A tailor in the UK would make men's clothes from scratch too.

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