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Since one can use singular they to avoid sexism in a way or another, I got stuck trying to figure if there is a polite word meaning something like "a group of both Ladies and Gentlemen" that could be put in the following phrase without implying in sexism:

Do the Gentlemen need something?


I thought about using Gentlemen, however, I have no clue if it implies in a group of men only.

Can you help me out?

  • 3
    Gentlefolk, but that is archaic. – ab2 ReinstateMonicaNow Oct 26 '16 at 2:29
  • Does anyone need anything? – Jim Oct 26 '16 at 3:45
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In olden days such a group would have been referred to as

Gentles.

  • This is good but do you have a reference? – BladorthinTheGrey Oct 26 '16 at 9:54
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Your context may aid in the selection of a single word that includes both ladies and gentlemen.

For example, if the ladies and gentlemen are guests at a social event of function, you might say:

Do you, distinguished guests, need anything?

Or if the ladies and gentlemen are members of a club, you might say:

Do you, kind members, need anything?

Or if the ladies and gentlemen compose a group of visitors, you might say:

Do you, welcome visitors, need anything?

These examples may sound artificial or overly formal, but they indicate that you may be able to find a good single word to fit your specific situation.

Addendum: I just remembered another gender-neutral word that works in many situations: folks

From M-W:

folks: people in general—used to talk to a group of people in a friendly and informal way

Your example:

Do you folks need anything?

  • @Unrelated I provided single nouns, as indicated by the italics. I threw in the adjectives for illustrative purposes, for effect, as a bonus. – Richard Kayser Oct 26 '16 at 4:09
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You can say 'Do the people need anything?' if you are talking to another person about these gentlemen and ladies, or simply 'Does anyone need anything?' if you are addressing these people directly. It does the job and is in no way rude.

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