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.
[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-; see welə- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.