The words men and women know

I found this online:

A study released by Ghent University’s Center for Reading Research, a research group in the Netherlands, found that there are some words that don’t usually cross the gender divide. Researchers took the results of 500,000 vocabulary tests, examined the differences between men and women, and found that there was some vocabulary that just didn’t quite translate — that is, there are some words that men rarely use, and vice versa.

Center director Mark Brysbaert looked at the first 500,000 results of the University’s online vocabulary test, focusing on differences in gender. Some words exhibited a large margin between the percent of men and women who reported knowing them.

In the online test, 100 letter sequences — which may or may not be real English words —  flash across the taker’s screen. Pressing the “f” or “j” keys, respectively, will indicate whether the participant knows, but not necessarily understands, a specific word. The test strongly penalized for marking you know a word that doesn’t exist.

We listed the words with the biggest recognition gap between gender below, along with numbers in parenthesis showing the percentage of men who knew the word followed by the percentage of women. Here are the words that men were most likely to recognize over women:

codec (88, 48)

solenoid (87, 54)

golem (89, 56)

mach (93, 63)

humvee (88, 58)

claymore (87, 589

scimitar (86, 58)

kevlar (93, 65)

paladin (93, 66)

bolshevism (85, 60)

biped (86, 61)

dreadnought (90, 66)

And here are the words that women were most likely to know over men:

taffeta (48, 87)

tresses (61, 93)

bottlebrush (58, 89)

flouncy (55, 86)

mascarpone (60, 90)

decoupage (56, 86)

progesterone (63, 92)

wisteria (61, 89)

taupe (66, 93)

flouncing (67, 94)

peony (70, 96)

bodice (71, 96)

The male words tend to be about transportation, weapons, and science, while the female words mostly relate to fashion, art, and flowers. You can take the test here.


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