May - 2005.
freakingood I have often speculated on the origin of gender terminology. Why the word defining the female species is linked to the word male, by the addition of fe to male or wo to man ? or the letter s to he, so as to create the respective words female, woman or she ?
The table below shows gender terminology in different languages. In some the vowel sound is changed to differentiate between gender, in others a new word or name is used.
 English  she  he  female  male woman  man girl  boy
 French elle  il femelle  mâle  femme  homme  fille  garçon
 Italian lei  lui femmina  maschio donna  uomo  ragazza  ragazzo
 German sie  er frau  mann frau  mann  mädchen  junge
 Portuguese ela  ele fêmea  macho mulher  homem  menina  menino
 Spanish ella  él hembra  varón mujer  hombre  muchacha  muchacho
Etymology details derivation of the word woman and man see link Word Origins. But - I prefer to think that either homo erectus or neanderthal man, as a result of the development of intelligence and language, noticed the difference between the species and exclaimed " ah whow man!" which has since become "wo man". Think I can live with that idea more comfortably than the etymological explanation :)
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