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Is Brexit masculine or feminine ?

European nations at odds


There are no obvious corresponding words for Brexit in other languages, but Italian language experts point to the word 'exit' which is feminine, as their justification for choosing the feminine prefix 'la' to add to Brexit. 

A lengthy explanation of the decision the Accademia della Crusca cited by The Guardian newspaper dubs Brexit "word salad", the combination of two words to make a whole.

In France, where new words are traditionally masculine, it is known as  'le Brexit'.

Another reason for the decision is that most French words ending in 't' are formed in the male version. 

Similarly Germany has also gone masculine as 'der Brexit' and experts point to the logic of looking for similar words to use as comparisons.

The German for exit, der Austritt, is also masculine, which like the Italian has been cited as the most likely reason for this decision. 

In Spain it is 'el Brexit' as most English words that are adopted into the language become the masculine version, largely because they do not lend themselves to Spanish rules where most words end in 'o' or 'a' and the country is Latin.

Kate McCann   19.10.16