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English-German Translation of
Why can women not

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Why can women not be "handsome" ?  
von bs (DE), 2011-12-12, 01:29  like dislike  Spam?  
Recently a women taught me that only men could be "handsome", but women could not. Can anybody explain this gender fixed use of the term ?
Antwort:  #632051
von Jim46 (US), 2011-12-12, 01:58  like dislike  Spam?  
The dictionary says women can also be handsome.  Generally, in my experience,
we use other adjectives, such as attractive.
von Christophorus, 2011-12-12, 03:18  like dislike  Spam?  62.178.98....
What about hair? Is "fair hair" reserved for men or has 'fair' and 'blond(e)' come to be used synonymously? .
von Jim46 (US), 2011-12-12, 03:31  like dislike  Spam?  
Both blond(e) or fair-haired can be used for either sex, while observing the added 'e' for
blonde ladies.  I think blond(e) is used in most instances now.
von wandle (GB), Last modified: 2011-12-12, 03:51  like dislike  Spam?  
'Handsome' is the conventional term used to get round the taboo against one man calling another man 'beautiful'.
Nowadays, more men feel able to use the latter term than in the past, but the taboo still exists to a considerable degree.
The subsidiary convention is that 'handsome' is not applied to women. This however has less force.
handsome  #632069
von Lisa4dict loggedout, 2011-12-12, 06:33  like dislike  Spam?  196.202.26....
Girl sees good looking guy in the street.  Girl thinks hand me some of that.  

Agree with above. I wouldn't use handsome for women and even our elderly gay neighbors might not appreciate being called "beautiful".  (Although their main objection might be thinking it was meant ironic.)
In älterer Literatur  #632099
von ddr (AT), 2011-12-12, 10:36  like dislike  Spam?  
wird handsome aber schon auch für Frauen verwendet.
I think it can still be used for women,  #632101
von Lllama (GB/AT), 2011-12-12, 10:43  like dislike  Spam?  
someone who is good looking/attractive, but not in a classically/traditionally beautiful way.

Having googled a bit, it would seem to be considered an insult in America, saying a woman looked very masculine.
Cultural reference  #632107
von bs (DE), Last modified: 2011-12-12, 10:54  like dislike  Spam?  
Interesting discussion of this term. Thanks everybody, I learnt something new. The reference to American culture is interesting, because it was a Chinese woman who rejected to be called handsome.

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