All Slavic: female miner


Senior Member
Hello, I was reading this article about British female miners and started to think what you would call them in different languages. It is not a big problem to create the female form or miner in Hungarian (English does not create any at all), but I wonder if it is possible to create a word for female miner in Slavic languages. I checked the Czech dictionary and here is the result, but how about other languages. I know female miners are extremely rare but not imaginary. Thanks

Czech horník, havíř - the female miner: hornice (?) :confused: havířka
Slovak baník
Polish górnik
Russian шахтёр - шахтёрка (sounds OK) :confused:
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  • bibax

    Senior Member
    Czech (Prague)
    In Czech the noun hornice is very rare. In this historical text, hornice doesn't mean a working female miner:

    "Po druhé, v létu 1516 nějaká Paní Kateřina, Elišky Landové Sestra, Hornice hrubě bohatá, a která i Pozemské statky za mnoho tisíc po svém Manželu zdědila, ..."

    ... grossly rich female miner ... :eek: (in fact a rich widow, whose husband was a mine owner - horník)

    havířka can be also miner's wife, rather poor than rich (O hloupé havířce, a tale about an empty-headed miner's wife);

    (havíř < Ger. Hauer, weibliche Form Hauerin)

    Currently there are no female miners in the Czech Republic.

    Labour Code § 150/1 (in accordance with Underground Work (Women) Convention, 1935):

    "Ženy nesmějí být zaměstnávány pracemi pod zemí při těžbě nerostů nebo při ražení tunelů a štol, ..."
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    It would be in Slovak "baníčka" (baní-k -> baní-čka) in theory, but I have never heard/read this word. There are/were no female miners according to the Labour Code already mentioned by Bibax, so I think this word is not in use in spoken/written language.

    Enquiring Mind

    Senior Member
    English - the Queen's
    The principle in Slovak, which supports ZDalexx's view in the post above, seems to be "Faktom je, že sú zamestnania, ktoré zastávajú výhradne muži, napr. baník, požiarnik, horský nosič, vodič autobusu/vlaku a nie je problém vytvoriť derivát ženského rodu (baníčka, horská nosička, vodička autobusu/vlaku), ale problém spočíva v tom, že by neodrážali realitu." (source: 'Vplyv rodových stereotypov na budúce učiteľky (nielen) anglického jazyka', PaedDr. Petra Jesenská, PhD. KAA FHV UMB, Banská Bystrica, SR). However, used the word to describe a female miner in Bolivia here.


    Senior Member
    English - England (RP-ish)
    Interesting question; "miner" in BCS is rudar/рудар, like in Slovenian, and from sticking random feminine suffixes onto the end of "rudar" and Googling the results, it seems that "rudarka/рударка" is the feminine form (it's listed as such on the e-Usmjeravanje website). But it doesn't seem like a common word. I'm not a native speaker though.


    Senior Member
    Slovenian, Slovenia
    That's so interesting! Maybe the lack of a female form of the word "miner" and the practice of using the word in sport clubs' names indicate that being a miner represents some kind of Slavic masculine ideal?

    Not as much Slavic masculine ideal as socialist working class ideal.


    Senior Member

    (m) шахтар [shakhtar], гірник [hirnyk]

    (f) шахтарка [shakhtarka]
    Miner's wife
    Miner's clothes
    Miner's lamp


    Senior Member
    Russian шахтёр - шахтёрка (sounds OK) :confused:
    At least in any more or less formal context the simple "шахтёр" (or various descriptive variants, like "женщина-шахтёр") would be strongly preferable. "Шахтёрка" certainly exists in Russian literature and is mentioned in some dictionaries - but only as a colloquialism. Moreover, it is ambiguous, since it can mean both "female miner" and "miner's wife".


    Senior Member
    At least in any more or less formal context the simple "шахтёр" (or various descriptive variants, like "женщина-шахтёр") would be strongly preferable.

    In Macedonian is also used the descriptive variant жена рудар (žena rudar). These variants are usually used for professions which are considered as typically male professions, so to point out that it is a female who does that job in some context can be used жена рудар (žena rudar) instead рударка (rudarka).

    It is similar with the profession chimney sweep. The male form is: оџачар (odžačar); female form is: оџачарка (odžačarka) or the descriptive variant жена оџачар (žena odžačar).

    The male forms can also be used, so you can say "Таа е рудар." instead "Таа е рударка." ("She is a miner.").


    Senior Member
    Obviously different Slavic languages treat feminitives differently. While feminitives are very widespread in colloquial Russian, they are mostly informal and often considered rude (like, for example, all feminitives ending in -и́ха). Formal Russian, on the other hand, tends to avoid feminitives. The amount of stylistically neutral feminitives is limited; a great part of these are obligatory or near-obligatory feminitives, where a female simply cannot be referred using a parallel masculine term or there is no such term at all (e.g. балери́на).