Thursday, September 9, 2010

This Week's Word

Spinster: an unmarried woman

Las Hilanderas or The Spinners by Diego Velazquez

By the 14th century, a woman whose occupation was spinning thread (hilar) to be woven into cloth was called a "spinster." Over time, the term came to be used for unmarried women of any occupation - many of whom engaged in spinning as a respectable way to earn income. It also began being used in official legal documents to refer to a woman who had never married. Today, to say that a single woman is a "spinster" has very negative connotations, unlike its male equivalent, "bachelor". Is this also the trend in Spanish?

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