English edit

Etymology edit

general +‎ -ess

Noun edit

generaless (plural generalesses)

  1. A female general.
    • 1959, Saul Bellow, Henderson the Rain King[1], Viking:
      I tried to shield my nakedness with hands and leaves, but Tatu the amazon generaless, pulled away my fingers and put one of those many-thonged whips into them.
    • 1982, David McCullough, Mornings on Horseback, Simon and Schuster, page 161:
      Bamie—Bamie “the Major Generaless,” as Ellie called her—was sent on in advance to Cambridge that summer to find suitable quarters off campus.
    • 2005, Amelia Blandford Edwards, lecture, 1889–90, first published as "The Social and Political Position of Woman in Ancient Egypt", PMLA (120) No. 3 (May, 2005), pp. 843-857 p. 851
      If it had pleased her Majesty's Ministers to appoint a lady as next successor to Lord Dufferin, for instance, they could scarcely have given her the rank of Governess General—or Governor Generaless of India.
    • 2014, Alberto Savinio, "A Head Goes Flying", in Signor Dido: Stories, Richard Pevear (tr.) (Counterpoint Press), p. 26
      Back then, Annibale spoke of the tenants with deference. He said "Signor Commendatore Pirco." He said "Her Excellency the generaless Puti di Valmescia" (the tenant of the third floor).
  2. The wife of a general.
    • 1886, Yves Guyot, English and French morality, from a Frenchman's point of view (The Modern Press) pp. 36–37, ditto
      The Generaless Catherine Booth read a letter which she addressed to the Queen, summoning her in the name of her religion and of her sex to dry up the stream of impurity.
    • 1903, The Toronto Star, quoted in The Week's Progress: A Select Review of World News & Views, volume 22 p. 191
      If the Duke of Marlborough becomes Governor-General of Canada the Duchess would be Governor-Generaless, and as she is one of the Vanderbilts, the New York 400 would move over to Ottawa for the winter season, and there would be high jinks in that town.
    • 1975, Helena Blavatsky, letter quoted in Howard Murphet, When Daylight Comes: A Biography of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky (Quest Books) p. 142
      General and Generaless, six daughters and two sons with four sons-in-law constitute the family of the most terrible atheists and the most flapdoodlish or the most kind Spiritualists.

References edit

  • Edwin Berck Dike, "The Suffix -ESS, Etc.", The Journal of English and Germanic Philology (36) No. 1 (Jan 1937), pp. 29-34