The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

27 July 2005

Endangered subspecies

All other problems in Britain having been solved, Her Majesty's Government is now going about the task of abolishing the terms "bachelor" and "spinster", in connection with the Civil Partnership Act which goes into effect in England and Wales in December; individuals qualifying as such will now simply be described as "single."

The Registrar General's office will presumably pressure the Church of England to drop the words, which still appear in the reading of banns of marriage. The Church has indicated that it will resist: "We are quite open to the way language is evolving," said a Church representative, "but we do not see any improvement being made here."

Indeed. "Bachelor" and especially "spinster" may have acquired unfortunate connotations along the way, but connotations are temporary at best, and some of us might even embrace the terms, especially if the proffered alternative is likely to be some sort of euphemistic verbal workaround.

(Via Tinkerty Tonk.)

Posted at 12:52 PM to Table for One

I thought the alternative was "single."

Posted by: aldahlia at 3:14 PM on 27 July 2005

I prefer old maid

Posted by: Donna at 3:41 PM on 27 July 2005

I prefer either "old maid" or "spinster." So much for Merrie Olde Englande.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at 5:25 PM on 27 July 2005

I really enjoyed this post!

Posted by: cary herndon at 6:11 PM on 27 July 2005

In the outdated and politically incorrect humor of yore, the proper word for the opposite of "married" used to be "happy."

(If my wife sees this comment, I'm gonna have a lot of 'splainin' to do.)

Posted by: McGehee at 6:43 AM on 28 July 2005

and what of the venerable term "crone"?


Posted by: Ron at 7:19 AM on 28 July 2005

Crone doesn't do as a generic term for an unmarrie d female. You can't be a crone until you've reached a certain age.

A Crone

Posted by: Kathy K at 6:08 PM on 28 July 2005

I look forward to the day when I am an official Crone.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at 9:10 AM on 29 July 2005

So ... whats the equivalent name for an old guy .. a "crony"? (jk) ... I'm sure the real term is unprintable ...... :)

Posted by: Ron at 6:21 PM on 29 July 2005