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I must not have been clear in my initial posting. I do understand the
gender distinction. The  question is why those terms were used to describe
performers who were not comics, per se.

On Thu, Jan 28, 2021 at 1:40 PM Roy Baugher <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> I think “comedian” is/was used as a male variant of the word, and
> “comedienne” is/was used as the female variant of the word.
>
> Similar to “actor” and “actress”.
>
> Etymologists would know better about this subject than me.
>
> Roy Baugher
>
> On Thu, Jan 28, 2021 at 1:13 PM Rob Bamberger <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
>
> >  "Comedian" and "Comedienne" as artist designations on record labels into
> > the 1920s? It's  a use of these words in a broader context than the
> > conventional sense. Was it meant simply to identify someone as a
> "popular"
> > rather than classical or "serious" artist? Is it meant to be associated
> > with performers who might be seen in vaudeville or theater who had acts
> > that combined some comic patter or exchange, followed by song (or dance).
> >
> > Is there a precise intention that has been written about, or discovered
> in
> > primary materials?
> >
> > Thanks for your comments.
> >
> > Rob
> >
> --
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>