It has come to my attention that Mr T, a resident of the alt.adoption House of Dysfunction, objects to my name. Bastardette. He complains about Americans “hijacking the world’s languages,” and claims that the “word” Bastardette simply doesn’t exist–since after all, the word, derived from French is a feminine noun. Personally I think he’s pushing it a bit. The word comes from Middle English, via Old French, and is probably of Germanic origin; akin to Old Frisian “bost” (marriage), and the Old English “bindan” (to bind.) If Mr.T would type “bastardette” into Google he’d come up with 477 hits including a definition from The Urban Dictionary. But that’s beside the point. An aa, housmate, Mr. J, jumped to Bastardette’s linguistic defense pointing out that the term “ette” is perfectly acceptable in the US citing the words dinette, layette and barrette. I could have chosen Bastardess, of course. (Don’t even suggest Love Child!) A power positive word, it unfortunately conjures up, for reasons I can’t explain, the image of Judith Anderson’s Mrs. Danvers batting around the mansion in “Rebecca.” Worse, it’s too close to “adoptress” a word favored by the anti-adoption birthmother crowd as in “My son’s adoptress gets her hair Continue Reading →