He, she or it?
General mountain dulcimer or music discussions
When talking about the mountain dulcimer with my friends in Germany, there's always a little uncertainty about the genus of our instrument.
In German you can't just use "the" or "a" as definite or undefinite article with a noun - you have to make clear whether the thing you talk about is male, female or neuter by using "der, die, das" or "ein, eine, ein".
Now the "Duden" dictionary (it is THE reference / authority for correct German) says it is female, so it should be "die Dulcimer".
On the other hand - in literature and in documents on the web (including the German wikipedia) you find many examples for the use of the male article, "der Dulcimer". The reason for that may be that in genuine German words the ending "-er" is almost always an ending for things (or animals and plants) considered to be male.
Now again, "dulcimer" is not a genuine German word, but descends from Greek and Latin words, and went a long way round from there to French, and from there into the English word pool (I'm not a linguist and that may not be accurate, but you understand what I mean). Confusing.
So my question is:
When you talk about dulcimers (or when you hold one and play it), do you regard it as a "he", "she" or "it"?
Sorry if this has been discussed here before. Hope my English is good enough to explain what I'm asking for.
I'm curious about your answers! :D
updated by @peter-w: 08/03/23 03:35:34PM