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A neologism for the governance by grandmothers

asked 2015-03-19 12:41:48 -0400

anonymous user



I am working on a project about a modern matriarchy. In this political system, the right to vote would be exclusively granted to grandmothers. I am looking to build a neologism that would express this idea.

Neither Gerontocracy nor Gyneco/Gynocracy is correct because this new word must identify specifically grandmothers. Basically I believe that the best would be to find an adequate prefix before the usual ''cracy'' suffix. But I may be wrong.

I found 59 words ending with the Greek suffix ''cracy'' here:

The most popular of these words begin with an ancient Greek prefix. However the word I found for grandmothers in Greek is ''Yaya''. Yayacracy would allow everyone to have a good laugh but I do not think that it would be a good choice.

Another possibility would be to use a Latin prefix. Avia is the Latin for grandmother. It would make Aviacracy. It is my best choice so far. However the prefix ''Avi'' (from the Latin Avis for bird) is also very common as a prefix. So I am afraid that it would bring confusion.

I also found the Italian word Nonna for grandmothers which seems to have roots in Greek and/or Latin. This would make Nonnacracy which may be better than Aviacracy. But here again I am afraid that it would be confused with the prefix Nano or with the negative prefix ''Non'', meaning the absence of power (actually Acracy).

Do you have any advice to help me?

Thank you very much in advance,

Andre Pilon

(Transferred from old LINGUIST List Ask-a-Linguist site)

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answered 2015-03-22 20:39:33 -0400

Loro gravatar image

updated 2015-03-22 20:44:09 -0400

Do it in German. "Erzvater" is "patriarch" in German. Granny is "Oma".Try "Erzoma". Short and unique. Pronounced "Ertsoma." We use a lot of borrowed German words: Zeitgeist, Angst, etc. By the way, you might enjoy the ancdote of a friend, a university librarian, who was asked by his psychiatrist wife to research American Samoa customs. She had a patient who kept talking about his grandmother. He found that it was what you would perhaps now call an "Erzoma society" and the wife could then concentrate the patient's real problems.

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answered 2015-03-19 14:11:12 -0400



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Asked: 2015-03-19 12:41:48 -0400

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Last updated: Mar 22 '15