poseuse

I don’t nor­mal­ly include words here that come from Word of the Day sites as it seems a bit like pla­gia­rism, but today’s OED Word of the Day is *[poseuse](http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/265105)*, which tick­led my fan­cy. It had not occurred to me that there might be a fem­i­nine coun­ter­part to poseur. Though gen­der-spe­cif­ic names for roles and pro­fes­sions are increas­ing­ly seen as dis­taste­ful, some­how, doing so in French does­n’t seem so bad. Not that there is any real dif­fer­ence between adding ‑ess and adding ‑euse, but being less com­mon in Eng­lish it seems per­haps a bit old-fash­ioned rather than just unenlightened.

Note that the spe­cif­ic use of the word in rela­tion to peo­ple who aren’t quite punk-rock enough to fit in with the uncool kids does not lend itself to using the female form. While a *pos­er* might be one who lit­er­al­ly pos­es eg as a mod­el for an artist, using a fran­cophile spelling seems enough like putting on airs that it ought to be avoid­ed. It’s inau­then­tic to spell a for­eign word cor­rect­ly when com­ing from a cul­ture of ignorance.[^1] So a woman pre­tend­ing to know about art might be a *poseuse* but a woman adopt­ing punk-rock­er clothes in order to fit in with punk rock­ers would still be a *pos­er*.

[^1]:Not that punk rock is a cul­ture of igno­rance. Any­one throw­ing deroga­to­ry words at oth­ers for not fit­ting in to their music scene — or for *try­ing* to fit in to their scene — is prac­tic­ing some kind of cul­ti­vat­ed will­ful ignorance.