I'm writing a novel that has two sentient species: humans and dragons. Both are equally intelligent. The dragons do not think this way, but consider the humans to be beneath them. At one point during the novel, a human cries out to a dragon saying, "we're all people," thus indicating that they're the same, that they have the same intelligence, and that therefore neither is below the other. The obvious problem here, is that dragons are not people - a word which has come to be synonymous with human.

The word 'sentient' would work perfectly, except that it doesn't sound right. "We're all sentient," while conveying the point perfectly, is not something someone would say before being eaten by a dragon.

What word/phrase can I use to convey the meaning of 'equally sentient,' in this situation, and still make it sound natural? (A single word is preferred, but a short phrase will work if necessary.)

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    I think people is probably the best word ... just make sure that you've set up the meaning of people as sentient being earlier in the novel. May 20, 2015 at 20:45
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    Maybe sapient? And we dragons are totally smarter than you smelly humans! :) May 20, 2015 at 20:50
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    "We're all the same"
    – ermanen
    May 20, 2015 at 21:46
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    "I am like you!" - to which the dragon replies "Yes, I like you... for lunch."
    – amdn
    May 21, 2015 at 0:19
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    You might want to make a distinction between humans and people, where the latter is interpreted more generally. That seems to be what the human is trying to say: You're dragons and we're humans, but we're all people!.
    – Barmar
    May 21, 2015 at 21:06

1 Answer 1


We're equals.

A person or thing that is the same as another in status or quality:

Note that the definition doesn't specify the quality. So with a little context, you might be able to imply that he is talking about intelligence.

I must say this scene reminds me of Shylock's lines. If you're open to a monolog, I think you could take a little inspiration from Shakepeare. All writers could.

Merchant of Venice, Act 3, Scene 1:

Shylock: ...If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that...

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