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November 24, 2011


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Fortunately, it's not just the capital that distinguishes the pope from a potato. The papa as a starchy tuberous crop is feminine, as you would expect from a Spanish word ending in -a, whereas in its role as the holy father it is masculine, as can be expected from a Spanish noun denoting a male, regardless of his attire.

Plus el Papa, referring to the Pope, is from Greek and, like several other Latin words from Greek, e.g., poeta, nauta or agricola has an -a ending but is masculine.

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