2

My question: In English, are trains female? has been closed due to apparently being a duplicate of What is the gender of an aircraft?

Obviously, aircraft and trains are not the same thing, and my question specifically refers to the latter. I am aware that many objects are referred to by feminine pronouns in English, but I would like to know about how trains are commonly referred to in everyday English speech. Therefore, I would like this question to be reopened. Thankyou.

Slightly annoyingly, a message appeared at the top of my question pointing to the aircraft answer and I clicked that it did not answer my question, yet my response was apparently ignored or dismissed.

4
  • 1
    Most “regular” / man-on-the-street people no longer refer to vehicles with gendered pronouns. It’s retained in a couple of contexts: specialists (eg captains for boats, trainspotters and rail enthusiasts for trains, etc), and poetic, laudatory, or political speech (ie when we’re being intentionally hifalutin’ or archaic). This applies to most forms of travel (probably from naval roots), and certain abstract concepts (Lady Liberty). But you won’t encounter it in day-to-day speech, so you don’t need to worry about it. Note this is stylistic and not grammatical. Grammar is silent on this.
    – Dan Bron
    Mar 4 at 19:47
  • 1
    @DanBron, this may all be true, but why is that a reason for closing the question (or keeping it closed), rather than an answer to it?
    – jsw29
    Mar 5 at 17:03
  • 1
    @DanBron That sounds like a perfectly good answer to the main question.
    – Mitch
    Mar 6 at 4:19
  • 1
    @DanBron - in the old days, when locomotives hauled most UK trains, enthusiasts could always tell 'normals' because they called a loco a 'train', that word correctly meaning the whole thing, loco and carriages. When waxing poetic, rail enthusiasts and journalists used to sometimes use 'she' about a loco (maybe especially no 4472 Flying Scotsman.) Now that the passenger railway is mostly multiple-unit everything is a 'train'. I once heard a driver in an official in-cab video urging his multiple unit to reach 100 mph, to beat the London-Brighton record. 'Come on, old girl!' he urged. Mar 6 at 15:12

0

You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .