As per the title, I'm looking for an alternative phrasing for "middle-man" without the gender connotations.

  • 1
    Why? Are you also looking for an alternative phrasing for woman?
    – deadrat
    May 3, 2016 at 20:33
  • 5
    "Go-between" has essentially the same meaning.
    – Hot Licks
    May 3, 2016 at 23:29
  • @deadrat, no, I'm talking about an intermediary which is an object rather than a person so want to avoid using gender.
    – Matt
    May 4, 2016 at 7:05
  • 1
    The terms negotiator and mediator could also work, I guess.
    – Mari-Lou A
    May 4, 2016 at 7:40
  • 4
    I don't know how this could have been more clear, I cannot understand the reason for closure. They want an alternate expression without the word man.
    – neuronet
    May 23, 2018 at 16:06

3 Answers 3



  • A middleman or middlewoman.



  • (Law) a person who acts as a mediator or agent between parties


  • 1
    I think Collins misses a bit by pegging "intermediary" as a legal term. The Webster's definition at the same link gives "an intermediate agent or agency; a go-between or mediator" without narrowing that definition's scope. I see it used that way in literature and occasionally in general speech.
    – PellMel
    May 3, 2016 at 20:32
  • 1
    This is only one definition of middleman. The other is a distributor of goods, the person who buys from producers or wholesalers and sells to retailers or individuals.
    – deadrat
    May 3, 2016 at 20:32
  • 1
    @deadrat while intermediary isn't perhaps in common use for "node in the distribution chain," it could certainly be used that way.
    – phoog
    May 3, 2016 at 20:43
  • 1
    @phoog Anything could happen. A brief time in the google leads me to believe that an intermediary has a relationship between two parties and is generally known by both, even if the parties don't know each other. There can be several successive middlemen in a commercial chain, and most if not all are generally unknown to those on the ends. In fact, that's the rap on middlemen -- they're anonymous injectors of superfluous costs
    – deadrat
    May 3, 2016 at 21:42


A person who acts between others; intermediary; mediator.

Random House Kennerman Webster's College Dictionary


For one of the two senses of the term, 'intermediary' seems like a perfectly cromulent word. For the other, someone who is engaged in the business of buying at one place and selling at another, 'reseller' is the best that I can come up with. That word doesn't really capture the historical connotations of 'middleman minorities', for example. I am unsure of what might be an appropriate substitute.

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