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 using this [mysterious] honorific in their documents and forms for at least two years. British government departments, including the NHS (National Health Service); online bank accounts; credit cards; driving licenses; and universities all accept this title.
Jonathan Dent, assistant editor on the OED, said it was the first addition to the accepted stable of honorifics in recent history and demonstrated how the English language is evolving to accommodate an ever–changing society.
“This is an example of how the English language adapts to people's needs, with people using language in ways that suit them rather than letting language dictate identity to them”
Oxford Dictionaries define Mx /məks/ /miks/
A title used before a person’s surname or full name by those who wish to avoid specifying their gender or by those who prefer not to identify themselves as male or female:
Their second example refers to the American ‘transperson’ singer-songwriter and cabaret artist, Justin Vivian Bond. A person who is said to have used the title Mx since 2011
- To me, Mx Bond embodies the very best kind of girl a boy could ever grow up to become.
Wikipedia claims Mx (/ˈmɪks/ or /ˈmʌks/) ‘is commonly accepted’ and has existed since 1977. The Daily Mail confirms the latter, and says the title first appeared in the US publication ‘Single Parent Magazine’ in 1977. Which makes it an American neologism.
An example from a British Adult Deed Poll Application Form
Is this honorific used only in the UK? What about Australia, Canada and the US? I found no mention of Mx being adopted in British passports, but if a British citizen visiting one of these countries were to feel ill, or be arrested would that person be allowed to call themselves Mx, instead of Mr or Ms?
Living in Italy I haven't come across anything remotely similar, and none of my friends or family living in the UK have ever mentioned this new gender-neutral title to me, so I was wondering how common is this abbreviation? Is it an abbreviation? Mx is not short for anything, whereas Mr. is short for mister, and Mrs is a contraction of Mistress.
- How common is Mx?
- Where and when did you first see Mx being used?
- How do you pronounce Mx?
- Will the US follow suit? Or do they have their own gender-neutral honorific?