Woman mysteriously ‘disappears’ on live television
A woman is a female human. The term woman is usually reserved for an adult, with the term girl being the usual term for a female child or adolescent. The term woman is also sometimes used to identify a female human, regardless of age, as in phrases such as “women’s rights”. “Woman” may also refer to a person’s gender identity. Women with typical genetic development are usually capable of giving birth from puberty until menopause. In the context of gender identity, transgender people who are biologically determined to be male and identify as women cannot give birth. Some intersex people who identify as women cannot give birth because of either sterility or inheriting one or more Y chromosomes. In extremely rare cases, people who have Swyer syndrome can give birth with medical assistance. Throughout history women have assumed or been assigned various social roles.
The spelling of woman in English has progressed over the past millennium from wīfmann to wīmmann to wumman, and finally, the modern spelling woman. In Old English, wīfmann meant “female human”, whereas wēr meant “male human”. Mann or monn had a gender-neutral meaning of “human”, corresponding to Modern English “person” or “someone”; however, subsequent to the Norman Conquest, man began to be used more in reference to “male human”, and by the late 13th century had begun to eclipse usage of the older term wēr. The medial labial consonants f and m in wīfmann coalesced into the modern form “woman”, while the initial element, which meant “female”, underwent semantic narrowing to the sense of a married woman (“wife”). It is a popular misconception that the term “woman” is etymologically connected with “womb”, which is from a separate Old English word, wambe meaning “stomach” (of male or female; modern German retains the colloquial term “Wampe” from Middle High German for “potbelly”). Nevertheless, such a false derivation of “woman” has appeared in print.
The symbol for the planet Venus is the sign also used in biology for the female sex. It is a stylized representation of the goddess Venus’s hand-mirror or an abstract symbol for the goddess: a circle with a small equilateral cross underneath. The Venus symbol also represented femininity, and in ancient alchemy stood for copper. Alchemists constructed the symbol from a circle (representing spirit) above an equilateral cross (representing matter).
Further information: girl, virgin, mother, wife, goodwife, lady, maid, maiden and widow
Womanhood is the period in a female’s life after she has passed through childhood and adolescence, generally around the age 18.
The word woman can be used generally, to mean any female human or specifically, to mean an adult female human as contrasted with girl. The word girl originally meant “young person of either sex” in English; it was only around the beginning of the 16th century that it came to mean specifically a female child. The term girl is sometimes used colloquially to refer to a young or unmarried woman; however, during the early 1970s feminists challenged such use because the use of the word to refer to a fully grown woman may cause offence. In particular, previously common terms such as office girl are no longer widely used. Conversely, in certain cultures which link family honor with female virginity, the word girl is still used to refer to a never-married woman; in this sense it is used in a fashion roughly analogous to the obsolete English maid or maiden. Referring to an unmarried female human as a woman may, in such a culture, imply that she is sexually experienced, which would be an insult to her family.
Courtesy : Wikipedia