Old English ofspring "children or young collectively, descendants," literally "those who spring off (someone)," from of "away, away from" (see off (prep.)) + springan "to spring" (see spring (v.)). Similar formation in Old Norse afspringr. The figurative sense "that which is produced by something" is recorded from c. 1600. In Middle English often oxspring, ospring. Spelled with one -f- (except by Orm) before c. 1500.
late 14c., "male human being; male fish or land animal; one of the sex that begets young," from Old French masle (adj.) "masculine, male, adult," also used as a noun (12c., Modern French mâle), from Latin masculus "masculine, male, worthy of a man" (source also of Provençal mascle, Spanish macho, Italian maschio), diminutive of mas (genitive maris) "male person or animal, male."
Male, matching female, applies to the whole sex among human beings and gender among animals, to the apparel of that sex, and, by figure, to certain things, as plants, rimes, cesuras, screws, joints. Masculine, matching feminine, applies to men and their attributes and to the first grammatical gender; a woman may wear male apparel and have a masculine walk, voice, manner, temperament. [Century Dictionary, 1895]
late 14c., "pertaining to the sex that begets young," as distinguished from the female, which conceives and gives birth, from Old French male, masle "male, masculine; a male" (see male (n.)). The mechanical sense, used for the part of an instrument that penetrates another part, is from 1660s. The meaning "appropriate to men, masculine" is by 1788. The sense of "composed or consisting of men and boys" is by 1680s. Male bonding is attested by 1969.
Davy Crockett's hand would be sure to shake if his iron was pointed within a hundred miles of a shemale. ["Treasury of American Folklore"]
This became obsolete, and by 1972 it had been recoined (disparagingly) for "masculine lesbian." The sense of "transsexual male" seems to date from c. 1984.
by 1936; popular from 1969 (with added pig (n.) by 1970); a specialized use of chauvinism, which in late 19c. international Communist Party jargon was extended to racism and in the next generation to sexism:
In this era, inspired by the CP's struggle against racism, women in the CP coined the term male chauvinism, in a parallel with white chauvinism, to derogate the conviction of men that they were better than women. [Jane Mansbridge and Katherine Flaster, "Male Chauvinist, Feminist, and Sexual Harassment, Different Trajectories in Feminist Linguistic Innovation," "American Speech," vol. lxxx, no. 3, Fall 2005]
Related: Male-chauvinism (1969).
"offspring," a dictionary word, 1670s, from Latin proles "offspring, progeny" (see prolific).
late 15c., "fish eggs," from spawn (v.); figurative sense of "brood, offspring," and, insultingly, of persons, is from 1580s.