Spinster: Outdated bureaucratic language of the British Empire

What a buzz-kill to check the box marked “spinster” as a young woman embarking on an independent Hong Kong adventure.

Perhaps, “unmarried” or “single” would fit the bill?

One has the sneaking suspicion that this is a word-usage hold-over from British days. Ah yes, suspicion confirmed via this BBC article. Hong Kong authorities: please note that both “bachelor” and “spinster” were phased-out of official-form-speak in England and Wales in 2005.

(I dodged this bullet by marriage, only to turn around and be forced to mark the retro-choices “housewife” and “homemaker” on a bunch of banking forms. Sigh. The lot of the trailing spouse.)

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4 responses to “Spinster: Outdated bureaucratic language of the British Empire

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