Is there actually a rule for forming feminine names of professions? I can come up with several examples (and some of the examples are colloquial, but nevertheless widespread), but I cannot figure out what the rule is.

врач - врачиха
дворник - дворничиха
повар - повариха
портной - портниха
ветеринар - ветеринарша
директор - директриса (or директорша)
секретарь - секретарша
учитель - учительница
уборщик - уборщица
волейболист - волейболистка
дояр - доярка
юннат - юннатка
раб - рабыня
князь - княгиня
слуга - служанка



do not seem to change at all.

  • 1
    Завхоз is an exception to any rules, as it's an abbreviation of Зав [едующий/ая] хоз [яйством].
    – Aleks G
    Jul 3, 2012 at 12:55
  • Maybe, but keep in mind, there are other abbreviations that can be changed, e.g. юннат - юннатка
    – Olga
    Jul 3, 2012 at 12:59
  • 3
    I think this is somewhat different. In case of юннат, the last word of the abbreviation changes: юный натуралист vs. юная натуралистка. So in this case юн [ая] нат [уралист] ка. In case of завхоз, the last word doesn't change.
    – Aleks G
    Jul 3, 2012 at 13:10
  • Some rules exist: -ист – -истка, -итель – ительница, -анин – анка... github.com/Pogrebnoj-Alexandroff/demonyms/blob/patch-1/… Sep 4, 2022 at 17:52

1 Answer 1


First of all, these feminine forms are not common and even rude.

  1. врачиха: It is an informal and vulgar name of врач. Normally you would use: Врач Ирина Ивановна. So, using the masculine form.

    Similar for others - Дворник К.С.Иванова. But (this is polite and friendly): Дворничиха Тетя Клава.

  2. Повариха: But Заслуженный повар Светлана Алексеевна Огурцова.

  3. Директор: Директриса.

    Formal: Личный Секретарь - Исаева;
    Informal: Его любимая секретарша.

    Заслуженный учитель года Ксения Петровна Пятеркина - но наша учительница Ксения Петровна.

These words are quite old, so I don't think there are any rules for adding suffixes. Just read more books to remember them.

ЗавХоз = Заведующий Хозяйством - so it cannot be shorted. Судья so respected so you cannot modify it.

  • OK, but I'm not actually asking about usage, I'm asking about a rule that describes which suffix to add.
    – Olga
    Jul 3, 2012 at 13:22
  • Plus судья doesn't change because it is a word with common gender.
    – Olga
    Jul 3, 2012 at 13:23
  • Still- судья. Yes you were asking about suffixes but point of my answer to emphasize that this "feminization" strictly speaking is wrong. It cannot be ruled on 1 to 1 basis - If person woman use femine form. Everything depends on context. Jul 3, 2012 at 13:28
  • 2
    OK, I don't want to start a lengthy discussion. I think that your answer contains some helpful information, but it is not the answer to my question. I will edit my post so that it is clearer what I am asking about.
    – Olga
    Jul 3, 2012 at 14:54

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.