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From various quotes in Star Trek we can tell that Federation officers (or at least the human ones) have preserved the English language tradition of referring to ships with feminine pronouns (e.g. "I'm giving it all she's got," rather than all he's got or all it's got).

Are there any canon examples of other factions/species (e.g. Klingons, Vulcans, Cardassians, Jem'Hadar) gendering their ships, and if so which gender do they use?

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  • 2
    I'm reasonably sure that the Jem'Hadar don't even name their ships, let along gender them.
    – Valorum
    Dec 27 '19 at 0:20
  • 3
    I can't imagine the Borg name or assign gender to their cubes either.
    – elemtilas
    Dec 27 '19 at 1:21
  • 1
    do all human cultures (in real life) gender their ships?
    – releseabe
    Jan 26 '20 at 3:15
  • I don't think the real question should about gendering a space vehicle so much as anthropomorphizing it in any degree.
    – user62584
    Jan 26 '20 at 3:17
  • @releseabe I don't know about all actual human cultures; there are probably a few isolated ones in landlocked areas that don't even have a word for boats, much less a habit of gendering them. I seem to recall that in Russian ships are masculine, but don't have confirmation immediately available. I asked the folks on the Linguistics Stack about other real languages that gender their ships. Jan 26 '20 at 4:03
4

Neelix (on Voyager) often refers to his ship as "she".

NEELIX: There's nothing like having your own ship. I remember when I first laid eyes on my little freighter, Baxial.

PARIS: No, don't tell me. Love at first sight.

NEELIX: Actually, I thought she was the ugliest thing I ever saw. But she grew on me. Eventually, I couldn't imagine being without her. You know, she's still down at the shuttlebay. Why don't we get her and Alice together

VOY: Alice

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  • 1
    Could be the "universal translator attached to the camera" ...
    – o.m.
    Dec 27 '19 at 8:59
  • @o.m. Doesn't translate it that way for Tuvok, who basically said (about Voyager) "it's just a hunk of metal mate" Dec 31 '19 at 4:21
  • 1
    I've taken the liberty of adding a relevant quote.
    – Valorum
    Jan 26 '20 at 15:04
3

In ST-VOY S05E14 (Bliss), the alien Qatai refers to his ship in a non-gendered but anthropomorphic manner; even talking to it and giving it a command.

QATAI: Ah! Surprised? What's wrong? Can't figure out why I'm still not running, ha? Can't read my thoughts? Go ahead, attack, take my ship. Damn ship. Hold together. Hold!

...

QATAI [OC]: Don't bother. I know my ship. It's just being stubborn.

While not assigning gender, Qatai treats his ship like a willful co-pilot as much as an inanimate object. He has assigned it a obstinate personality and even barks orders to it.

Despite the hallucinogenic circumstances that he and most of the Voyager crew are under, his delusions do not extend to actually believing that his ship is a living entity capable of following his orders or manifesting a personality. Instead, he seems akin to O'Brien's penchant for anthropomorphizing the computers and machinery he works with.


Quotes courtesy of Chakoteya.net.

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