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Contrastingly, a masculine girl would be called a "tomboy", "butch", or "dyke".
The word effete similarly means effeminacy or over-refinement, but comes from the Latin effetus, from ex- and fetus "fruitful".
Since the 18th century, the civic dimension of gender identity has been eclipsed by the sexual dimension of gender identity, and, today, effeminacy has often been considered a vice, indicative of other negative character traits and often involving a pejorative insinuation of homosexual tendencies in boys or men.
In other societies, by contrast, effeminate boys or men may be considered a distinct human gender (third gender), and may have a special social function, as is the case of Two-Spirits in some Native American groups.
The ancient Greeks, for example, described whole societies as effeminate (malakia) if they were characterized by a slavish, deferential, or autocratic political culture.
Here, it was the form of sexual relationships, but not the fact of homosexual relations (which were not uncommon among Greek citizens who were men) which was critical to the sexual dimension of the term.
Until the modern period, effeminacy in the Western tradition referred to a complicated intersection of both social (or civic) and sexual identities typically associated with women.This term has been borrowed from the Greek kinaidos (which may itself have come from a language of Ionian Greecs of Asia Minor, primarily signifying a purely effeminate dancer who entertained his audiences with a tympanum or tambourine in his hand, and adopted a lascivious style, often suggestively wiggling his buttocks in such a way as to suggest anal intercourse....The primary meaning of cinaedus never died out; the term never became a dead metaphor." Other vernacular words for effeminacy include: "pansy", "nelly", "pretty boy", "nancy boy", "molly", "sissy", "pussy", and "girl" (when applied to a boy or, especially, adult man).Please read the layout guide and lead section guidelines to ensure the section will still be inclusive of all essential details.Please discuss this issue on the article's talk page.
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At the time of the picture, the sight of an able-bodied adult male carrying an umbrella for himself in an English city or town still had some of the connotations of excessive dandyism or effeminacy that it had earlier in the 18th century.