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Happy Fun Time with the English Language!

Here’s a little semantic quandary I’ll be working through over the next 16 months: What term do you use when your “best man” is female?

Input is welcomed; extra points will be awarded for inventiveness, style, and form.

This is a blog entry posted on day 11344 in the Journal.

26 comments posted.


  1. Johannes says:

    Best Not Man

  2. Matt Dawson says:

    My sister was my best “man.” We used Groomsmaid of Honor.

    I liked it because it’s unwieldy.

  3. Giania says:


    Oh semantics, you scamp. The easy thing is to just say Best Woman, but it sounds sorta boring.

    (Outlandish) Suggestions:

    • Chief-in-Standing for the Bridegroom
    • Bridegroom’s Honor Guard
    • Ceremonial Lead for the Groom’s Party
    • Awesomest Woman
    • The One Girl Besides the Bride and My Mom Who Tolerates Me Enough To Participate

    That’s about all I got. Good luck with the weddin’. Let us know what you decide on with this “best man” quandry.

  4. Dan Mall says:


    When the groom wishes to give this honor to a woman, she may be termed the best woman or best person, or may still be referred to as the ‘best man’. (Wikipedia)

    Best purse-on? Behest man?

    Have we learned nothing from Patrick Dempsey?

  5. Chris Brierley says:

    The Least Man

    I mean…she is, right?

  6. Brian Warren says:

    Best to just invent a title. Methinks Groomsguard Potentate works.

  7. Wilson Miner says:

    I’ve been to two weddings recently with a female best man and they both just called them “Best Man”. They both wore black dresses and one of them wore a little neck scarf thing with a bow-tie on it.

  8. Brad says:

    Some spatial — instead of gender-related — options:

    • Position 1
    • Alpha Position
    • Position Nearest the Groom

    The first two sound robot-y, which I assume will translate to points for me. The last one is more natural-sounding, though not entirely liberated of awkwardness.

  9. Keith LaFerriere says:

    My second bridegroom, “one” removed…

    Bride’s Best Lady in Grooms… man…

    She’s the Best, Man…

    I’ve got nothin’.

  10. Max says:

    “Being asked to be best man is like being asked to make love to the queen. On the one hand it is a great honour, but you dread the moment when you have to rise to perform.”

  11. Jason Armstrong says:

    In these days of the digital, I would say BFF.

    Best Friend Forever


    Best Female Friend

    Of course then bride might not like this. But I think we’re also far enough along that you can have a Best Female Friend that is separate from your wife.

  12. Patricia says:

    Oh, I don’t know. I think Best Man is still best and more fun. Especially when you get to see the confusion on people’s faces. “But wait. What? Best man- but that’s a woman!”

    But I get way too much enjoyment out of warping people’s minds so take my comment with a grain of salt.

  13. Scott Jehl says:

    Best Ma’am?

  14. Rich Archer says:

    What about:
    Alpha Female
    Best Bird (one for the Britishers out there, I feel)

    But to be honest, I think “Best Man” is still the better option…
    Actually, what’s a male Maid of Honour called?

  15. Erik says:

    Second-Favorite (Non-Blood-Relative?) Female

  16. The Robot says:

    Epic suggestions. Epic. The English language may be hurting, but it hurts so good.

    Keep ’em coming.

  17. Ian says:

    Breast Man.

  18. Chris Wible says:

    I was best man in my buddy’s wedding and everyone, for some reason, was calling me the ‘best mate’ – that’s kind of gender-ambiguous…. you could use that maybe.

  19. Jesse says:

    Best Maiden?
    Best Matron (if she is married, though it has an ‘old’ ring to it here in New England).

    A friend’s wedding party had both genders on both sides, conjuring the honorifics of “Bridesmen” and “Groomsgals.”

  20. Max Daniels says:

    Groomswoman gets my vote. It’s analogous to groomsman without any awkward feminized makeover feeling, and it has a slightly formal, antique ring, as perhaps befits the institution of marriage.

  21. Chris Brierley says:


    OK. I’m really going to stop now.

  22. Greg says:

    Sergeant at Arms.

    Wear matching kilts.

  23. Jay Neely says:

    Fun: Best Femi-man.

    Random: Epicene Aide.

    Formal: Seneschal.

  24. Jessica says:

    I quite like “Groomsmaid of Honor” as well – it’s kind of long, but it’s nicely formal and unambiguous.

    Incidentally, my brother was my “Man of Honor” at my wedding. He wound up holding my bouquet during the ceremony and everything, poor guy.

  25. Todd says:

    High Priestess of Besting
    Best Woman

    and I really liked Best Ma’am, personally.

  26. Alex Beard says:

    My vote goes to Breast Man. So chill.

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