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August 1989

Migraineur, or Migraineuse? A Cheval of a Different Color?

Author Affiliations

40 Stuyvesant St New York, NY 10003

Arch Neurol. 1989;46(8):839. doi:10.1001/archneur.1989.00520440019003

To the Editor.  —I do not want to be accused of beating a dead cheval, but I think that Dr Leviton1 should have been less apologetic in defending his use of the word migraineur in describing both men and women migraine sufferers.French nouns are rather arbitrarily either masculine or feminine. Consequently, a migraineur could properly refer to both men and women just as un cheval can mean a horse of either sex. I say "could," however, because a bit of investigation has lead me to doubt that this is really a French word at all. It is true that migraineur does appear in Dorlands (their editor could not find the source), but I could not find it in four other prominent medical dictionaries, so I consulted the Alliance Française in New York, NY, and they informed me that the word was not to be found in any authoritative

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