Georgia NeSmith
1 min readAug 26, 2021


"That's because the word 'genius' is genderedl"

INDEED. Literally. As in the correct usage of the word “literally."

lit·er·al·ly/ˈlidərəlē,ˈlitrəlē/ adverb in a literal manner or sense; exactly."the driver took it literally when asked to go straight across the traffic"

Late Middle English: from Latin, ‘attendant spirit present from one's birth, innate ability or inclination’, from the root of gignere ‘beget’.

-> In Latin, a word ending in -us is literally gendered as male.

(From memory: I took Latin in HS at my mother’s insistence. One of the few times she gave good advice.)

Incidentally, my ADHD led me to check out the word "genie" to see if there could be a similar, linguistic connection to "genius."

Interestingly, the word "genie" is not a Latin cognate (tho there is some dispute about that), but rather Arabic, related to the Arabic word "jinn," as follows...

Jinn is an Arabic collective noun deriving from the Semitic root jnn (Arabic: جَنّ / جُنّ‎, jann), whose primary meaning is 'to hide' or 'to adapt'.

(Knowing a bit about the history of the geographic area, I wouldn't be surprised for there to have been a cultural influence.)

More here:

At this point I’ve probably lost the vast majority of your readers… :-)

I'd better stop here before I entangle y'all in one of my ADHD adventures.

Speaking of ADHD, google my full name and the acronym ADHD, and you'll find my musings on why I see it as a "gift" rather than a disability.

OK, GEORGIA . . . STOP!!!!



Georgia NeSmith

Retired professor, feminist, writer, photographer, activist, grandmother of 5, overall Wise Woman. Phd UIA School of Journalism & Mass Communication, 1994.