Apparently, in Italian and French popular culture, talking about the "sex of angels" (whether they are male or female) means having a very high level deep conversation with no practical consequences for your everyday life. Does that meaning exist in English-speaking popular culture? Clearly some English speakers know the phrase and use it, but I suspect that they are all intellectuals that know French and/or Italian. Does the phrase (or something similar) exist in any of the monolingual English-speaking environments?

You'd be crazy to e-mail me with the crazy. But leave the div alone.
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Apparently, in Italian and French popular culture, talking about the "sex of angels" (whether they are male or female) means ... intellectuals that know French and/or Italian. Does the phrase (or something similar) exist in any of the monolingual English-speaking environments?

We have a phrase: "argue over how many angels can dance on the head of a pin," which I think is a close equivalent. (It would make more sense if it referred to the point of a pin, but no one asked me.) I've never heard the English translation of the phrase you cite.

Bob Lieblich
Who thought all angels were male
Apparently, in Italian and French popular culture, talking about the ... something similar) exist in any of the monolingual English-speaking environments?

We have a phrase: "argue over how many angels can dance on the head of a pin," which I think is a close equivalent. (It would make more sense if it referred to the point of a pin, but no one asked me.)

That's silly, who could dance on the head of a pin?
John Dean
Oxford
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We have a phrase: "argue over how many angels can ... the point of a pin, but no one asked me.)

That's silly, who could dance on the head of a pin?

George Gamow's Mr Tompkins and several million of his friends? =20
Robin=20
(BrE)
Herts, England=20
We have a phrase: "argue over how many angels can ... the point of a pin, but no one asked me.)

That's silly, who could dance on the head of a pin?

How big is the pin?
The idea apparently is that an angel can contract itself to (almost) nothing: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/How many angels can stand on the head of a pin%3F

One type of pin is:
A small cask or keg holding half a firkin (4.5 gallons: approx. 20.5 litres)
With care a small person could dance on one of those so long as it was a dancing on the spot type of dance.

Peter Duncanson, UK
(in alt.english.usage)
That's silly, who could dance on the head of a pin?

How big is the pin?

Mine's 4 digits long

John Dean
Oxford
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
Apparently, in Italian and French popular culture, talking about the ... something similar) exist in any of the monolingual English-speaking environments?

We have a phrase: "argue over how many angels can dance on the head of a pin," which I think ... point of a pin, but no one asked me.) I've never heard the English translation of the phrase you cite.

Am I to conclude, then, that the "sex of angels" phrase has no wide use in the English Schprachgebiet, apart from the occasional translation from Italian & French?
FWIW, in Bulgarian the phrase about angels is not "dance on the head of a pin", but "fit on the point of a needle", which apparently matches your common sense. The other variants (point of a pin, head of a pin, dance instead of fit, and demons instead of angels) exist too, but are less widely used, and "dance on the head of a pin" is always a literal translation from (usually) English.

You'd be crazy to e-mail me with the crazy. But leave the div alone.
We have a phrase: "argue over how many angels can ... the point of a pin, but no one asked me.)

That's silly, who could dance on the head of a pin?

An angel isn't a "who".

** DAVE HATUNEN (Email Removed) ** * Tucson Arizona, out where the cacti grow * * My typos & mispellings are intentional copyright traps *
We have a phrase: "argue over how many angels can ... never heard the English translation of the phrase you cite.

Am I to conclude, then, that the "sex of angels" phrase has no wide use in the English Schprachgebiet, apart ... are less widely used, and "dance on the head of a pin" is always a literal translation from (usually) English.

Since it comes from medieval argumentation by philosophers, I would assume it's a translation form the Latin.
many angels can stand on the head of a pin%3F

** DAVE HATUNEN (Email Removed) ** * Tucson Arizona, out where the cacti grow * * My typos & mispellings are intentional copyright traps *
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