All translings now

Just sometimes, a coinage comes along that you so hope will work out.

Indebted to Indi RiotGrl Edwards, who on the fly, in an effort to be inclusive in talking about her trans sibs, came up with “translings”.

Personally, i love it…though i am absolutely sure there are some out there who’ll hate it.

Still, if no-one places prior claim and it DOES gain acceptance, its nice to be able to pinpoint the exact moment a new word arrived.


jane xx


11 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Very neat, but it sort of reminds me of the Hobbit or something -? Sibling is one of the few terms that already has no gender, SO adding trans draws attention to difference rather than normalising … but nice idea!

    • 2

      janefae said,

      oh, yeah…the Hobbit thing struck me as well, straight away.

      Its one of the chapters missed out of the last draft of Lord of the Rings…the arrival of the translings to play a pivotal role at the battle for Gondor. 🙂

      But i have no probs with the closeness to “sibling”, which is surely intentional. For me, it feels like a friendly word: one to be used within the trans community and between trans folk. Slightly more inclusive than “trans sisterhood”, which sort of omits trans men…and wonderfully playful.

      I’ll be using it in future. 🙂

      jane xx

  2. 3

    Paige said,

    Whilst “translings”may or may not be adopted and and any definition may change with time, how would you define it now, if you were to be asked for an OED entry?

  3. 4

    Rebecca Ashling said,

    I love the term “transling”. It gets rid of the pesky “-sexual” and “-gender” bits which always seem to give the wrong impression. However, I wouldn’t think this would stop the conflict between the purebloods and mudbloods within the trans umbrella. Despite the fact that muggles only see wizards and witches, too much has been invested in infighting.

  4. 5

    I now officially give up 😦
    Earth calling all of you ‘sweet transvestites from the planet transsexual’, why are you allowing another prat to pin another stoopid trans tag on you? The rest of the female world gets by with the simple woman thing, why on earth would I to have another horrible potential pejorative hung around my neck.
    One day I hope women with a transsexual history will consign the trans tag to history. Until then idiotic suggestions like this reinforce that segregation that the vested interests are so keen on keeping alive.

    I live by the motto ‘Don’t let them pin that ‘T’ on you. Just get out there and be the woman you are.

    • 6

      janefae said,

      its not about pinning…and everything to do with playfulness, that sometimes gets overlooked around here.

      Although part of the problem is that this conversation falls into two parts, one quite serious, t’other less so.

      The serious bit is another of those interminable debates about “trans umbrellas”, which i intend to get back to…but not yet! In general, i use umbrellas as i see fit.

      There are times, it seems to me, when we can take advantage of the LGBT one…times when the transgender one is too wide…and times, too, when th right umbrella has nothing to do with any of those initials and is labelled, simply, “women”. Which is also why i am not wholly convinced by the NZ separatists.

      If they are so bothered about being lumped in with all the tv’s, “trannies” and assorted drag acts, why create ANOTHER group called “exclusively for transsexuals”? Why not just go home and live, as i am sure most want, as women?

      The transling thing is quite different. I’m a writer, a wordsmith by trade and i enjoy language. Its a nice coinage that does not (yet) have any ideological baggage. I can see it having disadvantages. Can also imagine places where i’d happily use it. LIke, hey: i may be doing s recital at some point later this year of poems “wot i wrote”…and its, for me, a wonderfully poetic word…or at least has potential to be.

      So no: I’m not going to diss it…but nor does it have massive ideological resonance for me. Its just a bit of fun and most days i tend to refer to myself as either a woman or a “woman of trans history” for the pedantically minded. That’s all.

      jane xx

  5. 7

    Lucy Melford said,

    Although I think Sophie is a little forthright in her response, on the whole I do agree with her that, playful or not, Tolkienish or not, this isn’t a word that means much, nor is it necessary.

    ‘Trans’ as a generic term is perfectly OK. At least the general public, and officialdom, seem to understand what it refers to. It can be used to describe oneself from the very first coming out, through surgery, and then beyond.

    But ‘transling’? I’m not convinced that we need any word that implies a sisterhood – or if we do, then surely it should very clearly ally trans women with ordinary natal women. We share so many issues.

    Sooner or later, plain ‘woman’ is what you want to be, certainly after going through whatever legal process is available in your part of the world to give you full legal rights as a female. You’ve made it by then. I’m not saying you have by any means finished your personal development, but ‘woman’ and no other word becomes the only acceptable description for the end product of what may have been a very protracted birth.


  6. 8

    can I be a transling even if I am not trans? I can’t BEAR being called ‘cis’! sis.

  7. 9

    Jenny said,

    Language is a funny thing, it resists attempts to nudge it in any particular direction and goes its own way. However if you want to try nudging in this particular direction all you have to do is use the word as much as you can, and hope others will pick it up from you. Then when a lexicographer’s attention is finally caught by it, there will be plenty of incidences for them to cite.

    If I wanted to pick a likely candidate from this sphere for breaking out of the ghetto and into the dictionary, I’d put my money on ‘femulate’.

    • 10

      janefae said,

      Oh, yes: love it!

      I also love words whose etym,ology is other than you imagine. My favourite of those is “outrage”, which i suspect a lot of english speakers believe to be a joining of two unique morphemes: “out” and “rage”. That would make sense, since an outrage is easily something that can be considered to go beyond or “outwith” rage.

      But that’s wrong. Its French in origin (with Latin “ultra” somewhere back of that) and means, simply “beyond”. Imported into English, with a dubious accent on the final syllable its a bit more about fashion: outré. And if you know your crusades history, you’ll know that “outre-mer” was “overseas”.

      So anyway, “outrage” is simple morpheme (outre) plus affix (age) and means, literally, the “quality of being beyond”. Which seems a good enough definition of that word to me.

      Meanwhile, last night (courtesy of Sandi Toksvig, i picked up on another misleading word: “bridal”.

      I’d alsways assumed that to be noun + affix, as outrage actually is. But no: according to Ms Toksvig (and since checked) its two morphemes…two nouns actually, though one doing what trans folk claim language can’t do and acting with adjectival force.

      In origin, its “bride” + “ale”…originally the drink you quaffed at a wedding, later the entire wedding feast. So technically, its about food.

      jane xx

      • 11

        Jenny said,

        Oh yeah, break out the library card and lose yourself in OED Online! 🙂

        It is this capacity of our language to challenge everything I thought I knew about it that keeps me coming back for more.

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