Lexico has the word 'freshwoman', but, unlike 'freshman', it doesn't have the meaning 'a newcomer or novice, especially someone newly elected to Congress'. Which option would be better? 'Freshman female representative' sounds clumsy but, technically, it seems to be the only correct one. Yes, I want to mention gender.

1 Answer 1


Assuming the context is a U.S. congressional representative, freshman congresswoman would use freshman correctly to describe a member of congress in their first term, and congresswoman implies gender.

  • As I understand it, 'congressman'/'congresswoman' can be applied both to senators and representatives. Could you offer something with 'representative'? Feb 24, 2020 at 17:37
  • I'll offer the suggestion that while you're technically correct (the best kind of correct!) that both senators and house members are members of congress, if you talk about a congress member I immediately think of a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, not a senator. You would never address a female member of the senate as "congresswoman", you'd address her as senator.
    – Todd
    Feb 25, 2020 at 0:43
  • My question stands Feb 25, 2020 at 1:23

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