by 1860, U.S. colloquial, "a female, a woman," from she + male.
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.
updated on August 13, 2022
Dictionary entries near she-male