This tag is for questions related to gender neutral pronouns, nouns, and sentences.

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16
votes
8answers
3k views

Man-hour vs. person-hour? Is the former now considered politically incorrect?

It's now (often) considered politically incorrect to say 'chairman'. We must now say 'chairperson' or simply 'chair'. Does the same apply to 'man-hour'? Should I instead say 'person-hour'? (On say a ...
5
votes
1answer
128 views

Is there an explicitly male version of “craftsman/craftsmanship”?

This is somewhat of a fringe question, I’m sure, but the recent question asking for a gender-neutral of craftsmanship thread got me thinking. Since the suffix ‑man has become something of a ...
8
votes
3answers
94 views

What's an evidential basis for discussing gender-neutrality of terms? [closed]

I keep finding myself looking at questions involving the concept of gender neutrality of words or phrases. (Check out the RELATED panel down to the right there.) "Craftmanship" for example - is it ...
25
votes
15answers
9k views

Gender-neutral alternative to “craftsmanship”?

It's straightforward to refer to a "craftsperson" instead of a "craftsman" if one doesn't want to imply a gender. But "craftspersonship", "sportspersonship", and the like seem pretty cumbersome. Is ...
14
votes
9answers
3k views

Is the genderless pronoun “they” appropriate and grammatical for a non-binary gender? [duplicate]

I recently had somebody tell me that a mutual friend of ours who is genderqueer prefers that people refer to him/her using the gender-indefinite pronoun they. In some cases, this almost seems okay: ...
3
votes
2answers
126 views

How to ask a mixed-gender group for their participation?

This question deals with the use of y’all in written vs. spoken English, gender neutrality and group dynamics. I often find myself writing emails to a group of both men and women asking if they ...
2
votes
1answer
52 views

Is “past master” a gender neutral phrase?

PAST MASTER - noun: a person who has done something many times before and has become very skilled at doing it "He's a past master at finding ways to get out of trouble." ...
8
votes
3answers
245 views

A gender-neutral, informal alternative to singular 'guy'

When referring to an online comment, I want to say I agree with this guy. However, it's not gender neutral (See this ELU post.) What other informal alternate word is there? 'User' seems ...
4
votes
3answers
190 views

Term of endearment for either parent?

For father, we have daddy, dada, papa, poppy, etc. For mother, we have momma, mommy, mama, etc. Is there a term of endearment that fits either role? I've racked my brain thinking of one and I can't. ...
1
vote
1answer
150 views

History of usage of singular “they” (gender-neutral) [duplicate]

I have just read in Emma by Jane Austen a phrase which surprised me: I can think of but one thing - Who is in love with her? Who makes you their confidant? (Jane Austen: Emma, Chapter VIII, ...
0
votes
0answers
82 views

Is it polite to say 'thank you guys' if both genders were involved? [duplicate]

Related: Is "guy" gender-neutral? Discussion about more formal version: http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=1620575 Thank you (thank you guys)
0
votes
2answers
91 views

Can we use “it” as a generic reference for a human being?

I was watching a Hollywood movie few days ago. In one scene the son says "See, Mama: it's Dad," using it for a human. Is that right? How? In another case, when one of my colleague was explaining some ...
0
votes
3answers
559 views

Choice of pronoun to refer to 'one of us' when 'us' is male + female: they, he, she?

Imagine yourself – a man – sitting next to someone you want to talk to – a woman – on a bus, train, plane, etc. After a while you say: 'One of us has to start talking / break the ice, don't they? / ...
5
votes
9answers
2k views

What is a female or gender neutral form of gentleman that relays the same tone of respect? [duplicate]

At my office when referring to customers or external vendors I often use the word gentleman. I do this in effort to show that I’m speaking respectfully about them so the content and tone of my ...
19
votes
5answers
5k views

Is ‘hero’ applicable to females?

There was the following sentence in today’s (June 4) New York Times written by its Op-Ed columnist, Nickolas Kristof under the headline, “There’s a Kind of Hush.” “Aung San Suu Kyi should be one ...
0
votes
4answers
212 views

Are terms like “policeman” still gender-exclusive if they refer to one specific man?

I'm reading a news article about a male police officer and the author calls him a "policeman." This word seems unsophisticated to me, but is it still sexist if it refers to a man?
0
votes
1answer
66 views

Given “a player” as antecedent, when should the pronoun be “he” or “she”? [duplicate]

I am learning game theory. I always see that professors write (in text books): a player chooses her strategy If she chooses a strategy Also some professors use he instead of she. There other ...
1
vote
8answers
376 views

What is a heterosexual term for “cruising”?

Cruising, the act of going out and about looking for a sexual partner, is generally only used in a gay context in the US. What is a term with the same basic meaning but without the homosexual ...
1
vote
1answer
210 views

gender neutral pronoun - he/she or it [duplicate]

I'm a bit lost in gender neutrality. Please see the example below. A: What, I got a child‽ B: Sooner or later *he or she* will show up. From my own research, people put preferences this way: they > ...
5
votes
4answers
202 views

Etymology of “manhole”

I don't think man stands for male here, I think it stands for human—it is a humanhole. Does it have this name because its purpose is to provide access to the sewer for men?
0
votes
3answers
353 views

Looking for a gender neutral equivalent for “dairyman”

What would be the gender-neutral version of the term "dairyman"?
1
vote
1answer
78 views

Is “tomfoolery” a gendered word?

I saw a comment of someone refering to tom-and-tanya-foolery as the gender-inclusive version of tomfoolery. I was completely unaware of tomfoolery having any gendered conotation at all. Is this a ...
7
votes
3answers
345 views

Gender neutral term for “maiden name”?

The term "maiden name" is only used to describe the name that a woman had before marriage, and as such, is not gender neutral. However, it occasionally occurs that a man will take his partner's last ...
5
votes
2answers
520 views

Is there a gender-neutral prefix for “parent”?

The prefixes "patr-" and "matr-" refer, respectively, to father and mother--e.g., a patriarch is a father who rules a family, and a matrilineal society is one where property is passed from mother to ...
2
votes
2answers
217 views

Freshman or Freshwoman

Can we use freshwoman to refer to a girl in her first year in college, or is freshman acceptable?
1
vote
2answers
301 views

Use of plural pronoun to avoid mentioning of gender

I'm aware that (at least today's) English allows the use of a plural pronoun to avoid mentioning a gender of the subject. Example: _"Everybody can do what they want to" instead of "Everybody can do ...
0
votes
1answer
90 views

How do I pluralise a word that has a masculine and feminine singlar forms, for a mixed group?

This may be an ill-defined question since it arose from trying to pluralise a word that has come from French, I wanted to pluralise a pair flaneurs of different genders. Flaneur comes from the French ...
2
votes
3answers
133 views

Singular of “folks”?

It has been suggested to me that "fellow" is the corresponding singular version of the word "folks" in the context of "hey folks" or "listen folks" but it doesn't have the same gender neutrality.
1
vote
2answers
61 views

Gender specific language for one in a series of occurrences: does it imply something about the other occurrences?

A recent radio headline was Another member of the Canadian Armed Forces has taken his own life. This is the fourth suicide this week. The presence of the word another somehow left me with the ...
2
votes
3answers
328 views

“Was it a girl?” or “Was that a girl?”

Here's a conversation. "I saw a salesperson there" "Was it a girl?" Is it OK to use "it" when you refer to the salesperson? Or should you use "that" instead of "it"?
0
votes
1answer
2k views

Which pronoun to refer to “person”? It? He or She? They?

"When he found his seat on the plane, Sam recognized the person who was sitting in the seat next to his. It? She? was a woman he knew." Which is more common/natural? Isn't 'it' more correct – ...
0
votes
0answers
23 views

Gender-neutral possessive [duplicate]

I often use their as a gender-neutral term. Example: When a writer promotes their work ... But I am not sure whether this is acceptable English, or whether this is rather colloquial. I.e. can a ...
0
votes
2answers
158 views

What's the neutral measurement unit for masculine and feminine?

When we want to know how tall or how short someone is, we can query for his tallness, shortness, or height (neutral measurement unit). Is there such a neutral measurement unit for the adjectives ...
0
votes
0answers
42 views

Using “they” for single person [duplicate]

I have encountered some people using pronoun "they" when referring to a single person, such in this example: Even if the cyclist is 100% at fault (I don't think they are), leaving the scene of ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

What happened to word gender in English?

I know English is a Germanic language and I know at least the German language still has genders — three of them in fact — masculine, feminine, neuter. So did the English nouns and ...
7
votes
2answers
158 views

What is the proper way to refer to the Original Poster (OP)?

In a Stack Exchange comment, I was corrected by referring to a user named alice as a "he". I said (context): I know he thinks he needs all of the eigenvalues, but I've learned that ... and was ...
1
vote
2answers
786 views

Non gender oriented way to replace husband/wife

I’m creating a list of families that lists both partners’ names, ages, wedding date, and divorce date if there is one. To do this I have been using: Husband Age Wife Age Marriage Date ...
2
votes
1answer
219 views

Is ‘smart alec (aleck)’ a gender-neutral noun?

I happened to find the origin of the word, ‘smart alec (aleck / alick)’ as I was checking the spelling of the word in a dictionary. Merriam Webster English Dictionary defines ‘smart alec (aleck / ...
0
votes
1answer
195 views

Pronouns and declension for merged/hermaphroditic entities

I have a pair of friends who since entering into a relationship have become rather disgustingly effusive and clingy, to the point where people around them have begun referring them an 'it' [singular], ...
1
vote
7answers
4k views

What is a gender-neutral alternative to the expression “man-days”?

What is a gender-neutral alternative to the expression "man-days"? I thought of "work-days" but am wondering if there might be another term. The use would be, for instance, "This project requires ...
3
votes
2answers
270 views

Is “Who is he?” ok when we don’t know the sex?

Suppose I see someone coming whose gender is unknown; how should I ask who the approaching person is? Should I say “Who is he?”
15
votes
6answers
625 views

Why does “it” have a dehumanizing connotation?

There are a number of questions here on gender neutral pronouns, and one of the things that always comes up is that "it" should never be used to refer to a person (usually an adult). The general ...
6
votes
5answers
685 views

How can I reword “cross-gender” so it doesn't sound like I'm talking about transgenders?

This research has been focused on cross-national and cross-gender applications of such theories. The use of "cross-gender" means across genders, in the same way that "cross-national" means across ...
4
votes
5answers
1k views

Alternatives to “layman”

Is layman a gender specific term or can it be used like college 'freshman'? Is it still appropriate to use, or has it been superseded by some other term? Specific to IT, it seems more appropriate to ...
15
votes
6answers
1k views

Using both “one’s” and “their” to refer to the same entity

Consider this example: Sustainability management in large organisations is an important activity that helps to achieve one’s business goals while at the same time reducing their environmental ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

Gender-neutral Forms

What is the unisex form of a word like fisherman? Do you have to use fisherman and fisherwoman separately, or is fisherperson acceptable? I couldn’t find a dictionary with the word … In general, what ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

What is a proper gender-neutral form of himself or herself [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is there a correct gender-neutral, singular pronoun (“his” versus “her” versus “their”)? Gender neutral reflexive pronoun — equivalent ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Non-gender uncle/aunt relation name [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is there a single term for “nieces and nephews”? Is there a gender-neutral word for [aunts and uncles], parents' siblings? The non-gender name for ...
8
votes
5answers
3k views

Is it appropriate to refer to a person of unknown sex by “it”?

I would like to treat a user as a non-gender noun and refer to it with the gender-neutral pronoun, it. E.g., The user defines two variables, x and y. It then multiplies each variable by a prime ...
0
votes
1answer
1k views

Generic way for writing about person without knowing his/her gender [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is there a correct gender-neutral, singular pronoun (“his” versus “her” versus “their”)? Is there generic way to write something ...