D.C. Homebuilders, Realtors Lose the ‘Master Bedroom’

'Master' has racist, gender-biased connotation, builders say

A Georgetown neighborhood (WikiMedia).
• April 18, 2013 2:36 pm


Washington, D.C., metro area homebuilders and realtors are scrapping the traditional term that describes the main bedroom of a home–the master bedroom–for "owner's suite." Why? Issues with the term's race-and gender-based connotations, the Baltimore Business Journal reports:

A survey of 10 major Washington, D.C.-area homebuilders found that six no longer use the term "master" in their floor plans to describe the largest bedroom in the house. They have replaced it with "owner’s suite" or "owner’s bedroom" or, in one case, "mastre bedroom."

Why? In large part for exactly the reason you would think: "Master" has connotation problems, in gender (it skews toward male) and race (the slave-master). […]

Word of the change is now reaching the resale market, where "owner’s bedroom" is most commonly used in higher-end listings, said Brian Block, managing broker for McLean, Va.-based RE/Max Allegiance.

"The terminology has more of an upscale tone to it, particularly in some of the really large homes that truly have a large bedroom, sitting area, enormous walk-in closets, and lavish bathrooms," Block wrote in an email. "Owner Suite conveys a sense of being distinguished, having ‘made it’ or ‘arrived’ rather than the everyday ‘Master Bedroom.’"