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

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6
votes
8answers
1k views

Alternatives to the expression “poor man's <noun>”

I'm looking for a more politically correct substitute for the expression "poor man's", meaning an inferior improvised or makeshift substitute. Usage examples: "Guncotton is the poor man's TNT" "Poor ...
11
votes
6answers
6k views

Reason for the current trend to use «she» as the gender-neutral pronoun?

There are some questions on gender-neutral pronouns both here and on Writers. User Christine Letts writes: In academia, there is currently a movement toward using the feminine pronoun at all ...
35
votes
22answers
8k views

Proper way to address a very small group that includes both sexes [closed]

What is the proper way to address a light email/message to a small group of 2-or-3 people, where the group includes both sexes? I normally just use the term "guys" as in "Hey guys" or "Good morning ...
-1
votes
3answers
96 views

What is a gender-neutral way of saying “middle-man”?

As per the title, I'm looking for an alternative phrasing for "middle-man" without the gender connotations.
25
votes
13answers
11k views

Gender neutral version of housewife

Outside of American English, what gender neutral terms are there for "housewife"? There aren't any children involved, so "stay at home parent" isn't applicable. For example (when addressing an ...
14
votes
3answers
1k views

“Mx” the gender-neutral honorific

The gender-neutral honorific “Mx” has its own entry in the OED since August 2015, so no one can argue it doesn't exist. According to The Sunday Times, central and local governments have been quietly ...
-1
votes
1answer
73 views

Is Hangman a Gender Neutral term? [closed]

And if not, is there an adequate gender-neutral term that isn't 'executioner'? I'm studying the poem "The Hangman" by Maurice Ogden, the opening line of which is "Into the town, the Hangman came." The ...
5
votes
3answers
2k 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. ...
4
votes
2answers
120 views

What job descriptions are currently accepted as gendered? [closed]

It seems to me that in my lifetime, the use of "actress" has fallen out of favor in lieu of "actor", while relatively recently the term "comedienne" has been climbing in popularity. These blog posts ...
3
votes
8answers
10k 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 ...
224
votes
20answers
42k views

Is there a correct gender-neutral, singular pronoun (“his” versus “her” versus “their”)?

Is there a pronoun I can use as a gender-neutral pronoun? Each student should save his questions until the end. Each student should save her questions until the end.
19
votes
9answers
6k 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
186 views

What is gender neutral for fraternity/sorority?

Is there a gender neutral form for "fraternity/sorority"? How about "brotherhood/sisterhood"? Example: As in "If mathematicians were to form a fraternity of scholars, as in yet another alpha beta ...
2
votes
2answers
68 views

Proper syntax of gender-neutral statements, order of his/her

I know that in certain cases, you can form a gender-neutral sentence with a form of "they", e.g.: If a person goes out to their car... You could also use "his or her" or some variation: If a ...
3
votes
3answers
142 views

How to make gender-neutral: “Let he who would move the world, first move himself.”

Here's the original quote from Socrates: Let he who would move the world, first move himself. I'm thinking a non-gender specific version would be: Let they who would move the world, first ...
2
votes
1answer
39 views

An alternative to gender specific pronouns [duplicate]

Is there any suitable alternative to using both gender specific pronouns in such cases? Example: Client uses his/her account.
0
votes
2answers
89 views

Feminist 'she' when the action is bad

When the gender of the subject of a sentence is unknown, I sometimes use the feminist she rather than the more common singular they. Now I happen to feel that something is wrong when I use it as ...
1
vote
0answers
168 views

How to specify we don't know the gender

I was talking about the short story "The Invisible Japanese Gentlemen" by Graham Greene. The narrator is part of the story and also talks about himself/herself. They ask me what we know about the ...
80
votes
6answers
54k views

Is “guy” gender-neutral?

The plural "guys" definitely is, at least here in San Francisco — I'm often hearing all-girl companies here being greeted with 'Hi guys, how are you doing?'. How about the singular guy? Is it ...
6
votes
5answers
3k 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
143 views

Do any style guides advocate the alternating use of “he” and “she” as a gender-neutral pronoun?

I don't like the options that are usually given in the "gender-neutral pronoun" debate. The singular they offends my prescriptivist sensibilities. His/her constructions are clunky and look terrible. ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Why are plurals ‘*humen’ and ‘*Germen’ not conventional?

Studying English in school as a second language, I learned that human being would be the proper noun to describe a member of the Homo sapiens species, but it seems human is perfectly acceptable in ...
15
votes
7answers
2k views

Gender-neutral equivalent for “Take it like a man”

I'd like to find some gender-neutral equivalents of the phrase Take it like a man I'm not looking only for existing phrases -- any interesting ideas for expressing the sentiment "be tough", ...
0
votes
0answers
24 views

What's a suitable gender-neutral alternative to manned? [duplicate]

What's a suitable gender-neutral alternative to manned, as in "the front desk is manned by a different person every day?"
2
votes
0answers
63 views

Gender-neutral pronoun other than singular they? [duplicate]

I'm looking for a singular, gender-neutral pronoun that can be used when the speaker doesn't know or want to disclose a person's gender. For example, take this sentence: He is coming with us. I'...
4
votes
6answers
2k views

Is “ad hominem” gender-neutral?

My immediate thought is that the term is generic, and yet I read recently a verbal brickbat described as ad feminam. Was that just a po-mo back-formation, or is there some merit to the distinction? [...
2
votes
8answers
2k views

A non-gendered word for fishermen

Is there a non-gendered word for fishermen, that doesn't feel as self-conscious as fisherpersons or as folksy as fisherfolk?
4
votes
4answers
1k 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?
2
votes
2answers
251 views

Is gender-neutral language the norm for academic writing ? If so, when did this start?

Most texts I read on linguistics and translation studies seem to use gender-neutral language (e.g. 'he or she/his or her', 'they/their'for people of unknown gender). Is this the dominant trend for ...
26
votes
19answers
7k views

Is there a non-gendered term for “gentlemanly” [duplicate]

Opening doors, offering to pay the tab, helping with a coat or a light of the smoke: we may describe these acts of a man to be gentlemanly. In a word, how may we describe these acts of any person?
25
votes
18answers
4k views

What is a non-gendered synonym for “macho”?

In teaching computer science, I often want to mention certain beliefs that would normally be described as "macho", such as "Strong types are for weak minds" (translation: only lousy programmers need a ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

Is “Jew” gender-neutral?

I had thought that Jew was gender-neutral, until I heard somebody who was asked if their mother was a Jew and responded, "of course not; she's a Jewess". Is Jew a gender-neutral form, or does one ...
7
votes
4answers
772 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
3k views

Father and mother are to parents what brother and sister are to which gender neutral noun? [closed]

Looking for a word that denotes both brothers and sisters without gender connotations (gender neutral), in a similar fashion as parents for father and mother.
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Gender-independent replacement for “fiancée” and “fiancé”

I can use child to replace son or daughter, sibling for sister or brother, and parent for mother or father. What is the unisex replacement for fiancée and fiancé? I don’t need it for speech, but for ...
2
votes
1answer
193 views

Why are plural pronouns used for a singular third person? [duplicate]

My initial concept was: One should finish one's meal. When a user logs in to his/her email... A person bought a cake for his/her work. However, in the recent (8-10) years, I have been ...
0
votes
1answer
9k 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 – ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

What are the most popular gender-neutral pronouns that aren't the same as other contemporary pronouns?

There have been attempts to use other contemporary English pronouns to stand-in as a true gender-neutral pronoun, given that English is lacking a commonly-accepted one for adult humans (non-humans and ...
-1
votes
1answer
202 views

Generic he, correct or incorrect? [duplicate]

Completely ignoring the sexist aspect of the word, is using "he" as a gender neutral pronoun grammatically correct or incorrect? I'm well aware that using "he" may come off as sexist or politically ...
5
votes
5answers
2k views

Non gender-specific alternative 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 ...
13
votes
5answers
8k views

Is using “he” for a gender-neutral third-person correct?

I know there are different opinions on this issue. My question: Is using "he" for a general, gender-neutral third person still in common use for formal writing? By common use I mean, can I expect my ...
0
votes
2answers
254 views

Why are words like “actor” and “waiter” considered male?

What is it about words like "actor" and "waiter" that causes them to be considered male, so that they have female counterparts (i.e. "actress" and "waitress")? Why are they not gender-neutral like "...
4
votes
6answers
757 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"?
-2
votes
1answer
755 views

male/female cousin or nephew/niece [closed]

I was reading true some of the gender questions on this site. They said that there where no gender specific way of saying cousin except adding male or female in front of it. But i was always told you ...
69
votes
3answers
19k views

Is there a single term for “nieces and nephews”?

I find it handy when talking about my sons and daughters I can just say my children. It's nice to say nieces instead of sibling's daughters. I wonder if there is a similar term for nieces and nephews ...
-2
votes
1answer
61 views

Pronoun Agreement [duplicate]

Lately, I've been trying to understand the use of pronoun agreement in depth. While in the process I came across this website. According to the Author: Professional writers might revise the ...
0
votes
3answers
453 views

Looking for a gender neutral equivalent for “dairyman”

What would be the gender-neutral version of the term "dairyman"?
6
votes
3answers
260 views

Dating equivalent of 'spouse'

I want to ask someone, "Describe the perfect girlfriend/boyfriend" but I don't want to be so hetero-normative. So I'm looking for a simple gender-neutral/gender-inclusive equivalent for boyfriend/...
0
votes
1answer
707 views

Is it grammatically correct to use his, her, or his/her? [duplicate]

I've always thought that using the word "his" as a gender-nonspecific pronoun has been acceptable; in recent years, however, I've been told off by people when I do this, saying it is now "politically" ...
-3
votes
1answer
331 views

Is there a non-transphobic alternative to “he or she”? [duplicate]

For instance, "A politician must be able to think quickly on the spot. He or she must also have no qualms about lying." I know some people who use "they", but as that both sounds and is ungrammatical,...