Need replacements for these words (incl. titles, forms of address)

  • #1
honestrosewater
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Main Question or Discussion Point

I need to come up with female replacements for the following male words. For instance, as she replaces he and Queen replaces King.

man
son
prince
lord
my lord
your lordship


The replacements should have the same general meaning, but it doesn't need to be exact. The problem is that the replacements also need to have the same number of words and number and pattern of syllables. For instance, my lady (3 syllables) will not work for my lord (2 syllables); madam (stressed, unstressed) will not work for my lord (unstressed, stressed); madam also won't work for my lord because madam is only one word. Your grace could possibly work for my lord, but I don't really like the sound of it, and I would much prefer to keep my the same (and I'm not yet clear on all of the titles and forms of address either).

Any ideas? These male words all refer to Prince Hamlet, BTW.

Here are some words to work with:
madam, miss, mistress, maid, ma'am, grace, dame, lady, liege, babe (as in baby, daughter), dove, love, lamb, lark, rose, lass, girl, dear, daughter.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
EnumaElish
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man ---> lass
son ---> girl; dot (as in, of my eye?)
prince ---> grace?
lord ---> dame
my lord ---> my dame
your lordship ---> your highness
 
  • #3
loseyourname
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honestrosewater said:
The replacements should have the same general meaning, but it doesn't need to be exact. The problem is that the replacements also need to have the same number of words and number and pattern of syllables. For instance, my lady (3 syllables) will not work for my lord (2 syllables); madam (stressed, unstressed) will not work for my lord (unstressed, stressed); madam also won't work for my lord because madam is only one word. Your grace could possibly work for my lord, but I don't really like the sound of it, and I would much prefer to keep my the same (and I'm not yet clear on all of the titles and forms of address either).

Any ideas? These male words all refer to Prince Hamlet, BTW.
If you're trying to keep the iambic pentameter meter, you can change other words too, you know.
 
  • #4
honestrosewater
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loseyourname said:
If you're trying to keep the iambic pentameter meter, you can change other words too, you know.
Yeah, but I want to do as little changing in this area as possible.

I have some leeway with the pronunciation and meter. I think I might stick with my lord - possibly calling other females my lord a few times and mixing up my lord and madam with Hamlet.

I don't think man will pose a problem now. It also has special significance in the play that I don't think I want to lose.

Prince and son are still problems. I guess I could squeeze in princess. And actually, I want a neutral word for son. Sorry, kind of thinking out loud. Okay, a neutral word for son - something personal, like child.
 
  • #5
loseyourname
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Out of curiosity, why exactly are you rewriting Hamlet word for word except changing Hamlet to a female?
 
  • #6
honestrosewater
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loseyourname said:
Out of curiosity, why exactly are you rewriting Hamlet word for word except changing Hamlet to a female?
Well, I'm making some other changes (and there isn't a single version of Hamlet, so I'm also making decisions about which text or interpretation to go with when they disagree or are suspect). But as far as the actual text is concerned, I want the change in gender to only be superficial. I'm changing Hamlet's gender for several reasons that wouldn't be worth getting into unless you were really interested. I'm making a movie. My changes in the actual text will be minimal. My creative input is going into the interpretation and presentation of the text.
 
  • #7
arildno
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What about "girl" or "gal" replacing son?
 
  • #8
honestrosewater
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Yes, I'm still considering them. I don't think gal fits with the style. Child is the best right now; I'm just not sure that it works. Here are some examples of where son would be replaced:

1) Claudius (to Hamlet): But now, my cousin Hamlet, and my _____
...
2) Hamlet (to father): Do you not come your tardy _____ to chide
...
3) Polonius (to Claudius & Gertrude): Your noble _____ is mad
...
4) Gertrude: And I beseech you instantly to visit My too much changed _____

(those aren't my versions - just straight from a book)

With child substituted: (1) Seems ambiguous in the wrong ways. (2) meh, I either love it or hate it, haven't decided yet. (3) Not bad. (4) Seems too general here - and there's that alliteration again - eek, it's grating here.

I could of course use different words in different places. Just tossing around some ideas. What else do you call a daughter or child? hm.
 
  • #9
arildno
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Although it changes the meaning a bit, could "heir" be used in (1)&(3)?
 
  • #10
arildno
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Could Gertrude use "lass"??
(As an affectionate term, perhaps?)
 
  • #11
honestrosewater
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Heir might work in some cases - in the third person, perhaps. But I think it's too impersonal and formal for (1) and (3). Lass is the other way - too personal and informal. It's more suited, IMO, to, say

Gertrude (to Hamlet): O gentle _____, Upon the heat and flame of thy distemper Sprinkle cool patience

I'm not sure it fits with the style of the play, though a similar word could work there.
I still need a word that's personal and formal. I could possibly get away with using son in the same way that I'm thinking of using man. And use child where it's more appropriate. Does anyone else like child? I like child (I can treat it as one syllable or two, as necessary).
 
Last edited:
  • #12
arildno
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As in (4), do you think that a distressed mother would use a formal word describing her daughter?
That's why I suggested she might use the more intimate and personal "lass".
(I agree it can't be used in the other three).
 
  • #13
honestrosewater
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arildno said:
As in (4), do you think that a distressed mother would use a formal word describing her daughter?
That's why I suggested she might use the more intimate and personal "lass".
(I agree it can't be used in the other three).
Well, I don't think that she's distressed there; I take it that she's more giving an order than making a plea. But I only mean formal to not be a term of endearment or such. Son or daughter would be formal in the way I mean it. Lass being used to describe a grown woman strikes me as a term of endearment, as honey or pumpkin. In the last one,

5) Gertrude (to Hamlet): O gentle _____, Upon the heat and flame of thy distemper Sprinkle cool patience

I do think a word like lass could work (and that Gertrude is quite distressed here). I just don't really like lass itself.
 
  • #14
arildno
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Child looks good to me in 5) at least (and also 4))
 

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