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Thread: Respectful adaptation of existing Yiddish word(s)

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  1. #1
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Posts
    24

    Question Respectful adaptation of existing Yiddish word(s)

    My WIP is a historical fantasy set in an alternate version of 1905 London. I usually post about it in the Historical forum but I think this is more of a fantasy question than a historical one.

    My world is based on a very prevalent trope in fanfiction, the soulmate AU. I go into more detail explaining the rules of the universe in this thread, but for the purpose of this post, the main thing you need to know is that in this universe, people have cosmically pre-determined soulmates.

    My question is: is it okay to use an existing Hebrew word as a word used within my universe by Jewish people to mean someone's soulmate? And if so, is it okay to slightly alter the usage?

    The word I want to use is chosan. Its real-world meaning is 'bridegroom or fiance', but in my world I would like it to also mean 'soulmate of either gender'. My reasons for this are a) I would prefer there to be one word rather than different ones for male and female soulmates, b) it's quite common historically for nominally male-gendered words to also be used as the general catch-all term, and c) I like the way it sounds.

    Is this disrespectful? Should I find a different word that's actually gender-neutral in its original meaning? I am Jewish but I was raised very secular and have only started to learn more about my background quite recently. I would have posted this in the Jewish forum but nobody's posted there for a year. If anyone knows of any active Jewish writing forums, that would also be an immense help.
    Last edited by eldergrantaire; 07-11-2018 at 11:00 PM.

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