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Domestic engineer

Posted: Thu Jul 27, 2017 8:53 pm
by Manateena
Hello friends,

Has anyone come across the term "domestic engineer" before and does anyone know its meaning/origin? For example, "The wives in our group of friends that did not work, however, were domestic engineers, staying home to take care of their children." Any input is much appreciated.

Re: Domestic engineer

Posted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 4:41 am
by Erik_Kowal
This is a facetious way of saying 'housewife', 'house husband' or 'stay-at-home parent' which also dignifies them with a more impressive-sounding title (think 'sanitation engineer' vs. 'sewage worker'). The earliest entry in dates from 2006.

Re: Domestic engineer

Posted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 3:37 pm
by BonnieL
I think it was common in the '70s (maybe as early as the '60's) to "dignify" a job that no one had any respect for. Lots of job titles were upgraded around that time. Think "sanitation engineer" for the guy who picks up your garbage.

Re: Domestic engineer

Posted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 9:13 pm
by tony h
Although both Erik and BonnieL make fair points this usage may not be facetious but rather to dignify the generally underrated role that is housewife.

There have been many attempts to value a housewife's true worth (not least in divorce cases) but also in sociological studies. The general view is that housewives are hugely undervalued.

Context is everything.

Re: Domestic engineer

Posted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 3:43 pm
by Bobinwales
It's better than "domestic goddess"!

Re: Domestic engineer

Posted: Sat Aug 05, 2017 4:20 pm
by BonnieL
I think changing a job title to "dignify" the position, but not changing pay or status are a ploy to hoodwink the housewife or low-status worker - a sop to make them feel better about their jobs. Or to make the higher status people feel less guilty.

Tho "domestic goddess" works for me! :D