Professional Style

Masseur vs. Masseuse

December 2015
Spot the Error

Antonio is Jodie’s favorite masseuse; his massages always make her feel so invigorated.

Masseuse—borrowed from the French—is a female massage therapist. A male massage therapist is a masseur. Therefore, the appropriate job title for the “massage” sentence above is masseur.

Many languages have job titles that correlate with the sex of the person (masseuse, masseur). Fortunately, in the U.S., job titles are moving toward gender neutrality:

  • waiter, waitress = server
  • steward, stewardess = flight attendant
  • actor, actress = actor

However, if you’re borrowing a job title from another language, be sure the title’s gender matches the sex of the person.

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