Tuesday, October 22, 2013


two-spirit - Wiktionary

70+ items - English[edit]. Etymology 1[edit]. two+spirit. Adjective[edit].
Male-bodied: Ayagígux' ("man transformed into a woman
Mescalero. Male-bodied: Ńdé?isdzan ("man-woman

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Etymology 1[edit]



two-spirit (not comparable)
  1. (theology) pertaining to the doctrine of dualism in the so-called "Treatise on the Two Spirits" in the Qumran scrolls (IQS IV 5, 6)  [quotations ▼]
    • 1957, The Harvard Divinity School bulletin, Harvard University Press, page 133
      Paul's grasp of the Spirit as the sign of the erupting messianic age is at odds with the two-spirit thought of Qumran which never became incompatible with law observance.

Etymology 2[edit]

two+spirit. A replacement for berdache advocated since the early 1990s.[1]


Wikipedia has an article on:

two-spirit (plural two-spirits)
  1. a berdache, a person with "third gender" identity among Native Americans.
  2. a gender category comprising "two-spirit" individuals


  1. ^ 'In recent years, efforts have been made to replace berdache with "two-spirit." In 1993, a group of anthropologists and natives issued guidelines that formalized these preferences. "Berdache," they argued, is a term "that has its origins in Western thought and languages." Scholars were urged to discard it, inserting "[sic]" following its appearance in quoted texts. In its place they were encouraged to use tribally specific terms for multiple genders or the term "two-spirit." This attempt at rebranding recalls the shifts from homosexual to gay to queer to GLBT. As the noted scholar Will Roscoe observed, "[u]nfortunately, these guidelines create as many problems as they solve, beginning with a mischaracterization of the history and meaning of the word ‘berdache.’ As a Persian term, its origins are Eastern not Western. Nor is it a derogatory term, except to the extent that all terms for nonmarital sexuality in European societies carried a measure of condemnation. It was rarely used with the force of ‘faggot,’ but more often as a euphemism with the sense of ‘lover’ or ‘boyfriend.’ Its history, in this regard, is akin to that of ‘gay,’ ‘black,’ and ‘Chicano’—terms that also lost negative connotations over time."' Wayne R. Dynes, Homolexis Glossary (2008).[1]
  2. ^ after modern Northern Cheyenne orthography. See Cheyenne Dictionary by Fisher, Leman, Pine, Sanchez.
  • Bullough, Vern L. & Bonnie. (1993). Crossdressing, Sex, and Gender. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press
  • Cameron, Michelle. (2005). Two-spirited Aboriginal people: Continuing cultural appropriation by non-Aboriginal society. Canadian Women Studies, 24 (2/3), 123-127.
  • Jacobs, Sue-Ellen; Wesley Thomas, and Sabine Lang (Eds.). (1997). Two-spirit people: Native American gender identity, sexuality, and spirituality. Urbana: University of Illinois Press. ISBN 0-252-02344-7, ISBN 0-252-06645-6.

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