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You can say of a person that they are single/married/divorced/widowed, even that that person is a parent (father or mother). But is there a single word to refer to someone who is not a parent?

I can only think of some compounds such as childless or kidless, but I'm not sure if they convey the meaning proposed. I have read somewhere that there is an acronym but I don't know if it's widely used: DINK, but it refers to couples without kids (Double Income No Kids), not to a single person.

marked as duplicate by Jason Bassford, Roger Sinasohn, Nigel J, Robusto single-word-requests Sep 7 '18 at 1:58

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  • 2
    Why, historically, would there be such a word? Children are associated with parents. A childless person is what it says. – Lambie Sep 5 '18 at 15:14
  • A person without descendants. – Lambie Sep 5 '18 at 16:55


A man who has never been married and most likely has no children.


The female version of the above.


A woman who has never been married and has no children (offensive).

  • 1
    These words only refer to not being married. They don't imply non-parenthood. – puppetsock Sep 5 '18 at 16:39
  • @puppetsock: "A bachelor with three kids." "The spinster who lived across the street had one daughter and two sons." – Ricky Sep 5 '18 at 17:47
  • 2
    Both of those phrases are entirely possible. In addition, spinster is no more offensive than homosexual; though both are used derogatorily. the words themselves are purely descriptive – TimLymington Sep 5 '18 at 18:21
  • @TimLymington: One could use a qualifier to offset the offensive connotations. For instance: "an honest spinster." – Ricky Sep 5 '18 at 19:13

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