Does the word England belong to the group of words such as ship etc. which we call "she"?
I've read this sentence today:
In 1776 England lost her American colonies.
What are the other words that we can call "she" even though they are just things or some abstract expressions, in fact?
Ships - Look at that liner. Isn't she amazing!
Because of this connection between Britain and Britannia, England or Britain is sometimes referred to as she.
Other things? Ships and boats are usually she, as this is considered less threatening to Neptune, the god of the sea. Cars, but very rarely and only if it some rare or exotic car. An Aston Martin may be a 'she' to an enthusiastic owner, but if you referred to a Nissan Sunny as 'she' people would think you were a very odd person!
Thank you for your replies (and especially Andrew for the nice explanation)!
Are there any other words that can be called she? I remember I was told some more words (but I don't remember them, as I was told them a few years ago - at least 5...).
It just seems to me that my teacher mentioned an animal (maybe a fox? or a lion (he)? I don't really remember...) and something like "the Sun" and maybe "luck" or "fortune"...
I'll try to search my old English class notes...
Oh.... I can't believe it! It wasn't that difficult to find my old notes.... I thought it would be somewhere in (is it the right preposition here?) the attic, but it wasn't!
So... Here it is:
SHE: ship, earth (I am not sure whether it is just the Earth, as I noted the word in Czech down... it's "země" in Czech which could be both translated as country, land and the Earth), moon (the Moon)
HE: bear, dog, fox, wolf, love
My memory isn't so bad... I could remember the fox (and I was thinking also about the wolf)!
It all stems from gods or goddesses. We talk about Mother Earth, Mother Nature, Lady Moon so they can be 'she'.
I am not sure about the sun though... I though he was a man.
bear, dog, fox and wolf are a bit puzzling. As gender, they are all male so that would explain the 'he', but a she-wolf is still a she, and so are vixens and bitches.
As to the animals, you are right...
Thanks for telling me.
What about the word "love"? Can I use this one with "he"?
I've already met the word love replaced by he in some XIX poems was it P. B Shelley or Coleridge? but love was he O bawling love loving hate .... Shakespeare
I 'm surprised to see that she /car is also usual in GB . I thought it was an American peculiarity .. History or herstory ?