A North American Indian male transvestite or homosexual who was accepted in his assumption of the dress, role, and status of a woman.
(anthropology) Among Native Americans, a person who identifies with any of a variety of gender identities which are not exclusively those of their biological sex; a transgender person. [from the 1890s; peaked in commonness in the 1990s]
Among certain Native American peoples, a person, usually a male, who assumes the gender identity and is granted the social status of the opposite sex.
Origin of berdache
- North American French from French bardache catamite from Italian dialectal bardascia from Arabic bardaj slave from Persian bardah prisoner from Middle Persian vartak from Old Iranian varta- welə- in Indo-European roots
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition