Kailin
Does "wizard" only refer to males? In the Oxford dict, "wizard" means "a man who has magical powers". However, I remembered once I read about JK Rowling's Commencement Address at Harvard which writes: (see the last sentence) "Delivering a commencement address is a great responsibility; or so I thought until I cast my mind back to my own graduation. The commencement speaker that day was the distinguished British philosopher Baroness Mary Warnock. Reflecting on her speech has helped me enormously in writing this one, because it turns out that I can't remember a single word she said. This liberating discovery enables me to proceed without any fear that I might inadvertently influence you to abandon promising careers in business, law or politics for the giddy delights of becoming a gay wizard." So I think she didn't limit the meaning of "wizard" to only males. Am I right? And can I tease my friend by nicknaming her "wizard Mary"(suppose her name is Mary) when she dressed a magician's costume? Thanks a lot!
Feb 10, 2016 10:44 AM
Answers · 6
Rowling was referring to Dumbledore, the (male) gay wizard in the Harry Potter universe. In Harry Potter the females were called witches, only the males were wizards. Wizards have all been male since Merlin up through the Wizard of Oz. But since they're fictional characters, they can be anything the writer chooses. So it "sounds" a little odd to nickname a woman "wizard" and I would instead go with the female equivalent, "wizardess". Don't use "witch" (even though they're pretty awesome) because that is a very strong insult in reference to a woman.
February 10, 2016
In old English and even not so far from now it was associated with males ! The female counterpart was an enchantress or a witch . Nowadays literary works do mention female wizards ! So go on calling your friend a wizard ;)
February 10, 2016
Still haven’t found your answers?
Write down your questions and let the native speakers help you!
Kailin
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English, French, Korean, Spanish
Learning Language
English, French, Korean, Spanish