Posted By: Rouspeteur The male counterpart of distaff - 02/22/02 11:57 PM
I found this term once, but now for the life of me can't find it. It is not "Spear side" but another word that is also a term used in heraldry.

Any help would be appreciated as it is driving me quite nuts trying to remember it. (It is getting as bad as the time the Barney theme got stuck in my head at the beginning of an all day meeting.)

Posted By: wwh Re: The male counterpart of distaff - 02/23/02 12:30 AM
Dear Rouspeteur: I looked for "antonym distaff" and got this feeble jest:

What is the opposite of "distaff side"?

"Spear side", but I prefer Truly Donovan's suggestion, "datstaff side". :-)

Series"On the Spear Side and on the Distaff Side" with very popular family a humorous features is prepared in a co-operation with Czech Television. The series is designed to 7 parts /50 minutes a part/. We are considering also the possibility of editing it to a night movie. The shooting is planned to 1999. The author of the screenplay is Czech renowned scriptwriter Ivo Pelant and a participation of the best Czech film workers and actors is expected. More details about the prepared series including digest short version will be sent to al1 the interested persons.


is from the verb to weave. (Saxon wefan, Danish vve, German weben, whence weib, a woman,
one who works at the distaff.) Woman is called the distaff. Hence Dryden calls Anne a distaff on
the throne. While a girl was spinning her wedding clothes she was simply a spinster; but when this
task was done, and she was married, she became a wife, or one who had already woven her
allotted task.
Alfred, in his will, speaks of his male and female descendants as those of the spear-side and
those of the spindle-side, a distinction still observed by the Germans; and hence the effigies on
graves of spears and spindles.
(from Bartleby)

Posted By: birdie Re: The male counterpart of distaff - 07/30/14 09:06 AM
The antonym of distaff is agnate. Had it in a crossword puzzle.
It is also in Websters 20th century dictionary, unabridged edition
Posted By: tsuwm Re: The male counterpart of distaff - 07/30/14 03:04 PM
actually, agnate is the more direct 'opposite' of enate. YCLIU.
Posted By: Faldage Re: The male counterpart of distaff - 07/30/14 11:36 PM
Yeah. It's kinda like saying that sungates is the opposite of counterclockwise.
© Wordsmith.org