It is a popular misconception  that the term "woman" is etymologically connected to "womb". The Venus symbol also represented femininity , and in ancient alchemy stood for copper. Alchemists constructed the symbol from a circle representing spirit above an equilateral cross representing matter. The word woman can be used generally, to mean any female human,[ citation needed ] or specifically, to mean an adult female human as contrasted with girl. The word girl originally meant "young person of either sex" in English;  it was only around the beginning of the 16th century that it came to mean specifically a female child.