Questions tagged [gender-neutral]

This tag is for questions related to gender neutral pronouns, nouns, and sentences.

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373 votes
22 answers
133k views

Is there a correct gender-neutral singular pronoun ("his" vs. "her" vs. "their")?

Is there a pronoun I can use as a gender-neutral pronoun when referring back to a singular noun phrase? Each student should save his questions until the end. Each student should save her questions ...
Nulldevice's user avatar
  • 3,897
228 votes
21 answers
234k views

What is a feminine version of 'guys'?

I commonly use the word 'guys' to refer to a group of males colloquially. It's colloquial but not rude, off putting, condescending, patronizing (though I wouldn't use it with a group of men at a board ...
Mitch's user avatar
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134 votes
7 answers
168k views

Is "guy" gender-neutral?

The plural "guys" definitely is, at least here in San Francisco — I'm often hearing all-girl companies here being greeted with 'Hi guys, how are you doing?'. How about the singular guy? Is it ...
Artem's user avatar
  • 1,821
95 votes
2 answers
99k views

Is there a single term for "nieces and nephews"?

I find it handy when talking about my sons and daughters I can just say my children. It's nice to say nieces instead of sibling's daughters. I wonder if there is a similar term for nieces and nephews ...
Paul Hildebrandt's user avatar
94 votes
7 answers
22k views

Is there a gender neutral equivalent of “manspreading”?

Who knew that the term manspreading is considered deeply sexist? I didn't A nameless user proposed to delete the term from an answer of mine. His explanation was “remove misandry”. I had written ...
Mari-Lou A's user avatar
  • 91.3k
80 votes
23 answers
28k views

How to degender "separate the men from the boys"?

How can one degender the phrase "separate the men from the boys"? Examples of how this phrase has traditionally been used: Math teacher: "The ability to do proofs of this type is what separates ...
aparente001's user avatar
  • 21.5k
47 votes
6 answers
139k views

Is there a gender-neutral word for "aunts and uncles"/"parents' siblings"?

Brothers and sisters are siblings. Husbands and wives are spouses. Mothers and fathers are parents. Sons and daughters are children. Grandparents, grandchildren ... but what about uncles and aunts,...
Daniel's user avatar
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42 votes
10 answers
36k views

Is "dude" becoming gender neutral? [duplicate]

Is the word "dude" becoming gender neutral? I don't think so, however, has modern usage changed? Are there some recent examples of "dude" being used to refer to a woman or group of women?
michael_timofeev's user avatar
39 votes
14 answers
46k views

Gender-neutral alternative to "craftsmanship"?

It's straightforward to refer to a "craftsperson" instead of a "craftsman" if one doesn't want to imply a gender. But "craftspersonship", "sportspersonship", and the like seem pretty cumbersome. Is ...
Cai's user avatar
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37 votes
22 answers
90k views

Proper way to address a very small group that includes both sexes [closed]

What is the proper way to address a light email/message to a small group of 2-or-3 people, where the group includes both sexes? I normally just use the term "guys" as in "Hey guys" or "Good morning ...
WEFX's user avatar
  • 503
36 votes
5 answers
33k views

Reason for the current trend to use «she» as the gender-neutral pronoun?

There are some questions on gender-neutral pronouns both here and on Writers. User Christine Letts writes: In academia, there is currently a movement toward using the feminine pronoun at all ...
Júlio Santos's user avatar
34 votes
8 answers
26k views

Man-hour vs. person-hour? Is the former now considered politically incorrect?

It’s now (often) considered politically incorrect to say chairman. We must now say chairperson or simply chair. Does the same apply to man-hour? Should I instead say person-hour? (On say a job ...
user avatar
33 votes
6 answers
46k views

Is using "he" for a gender-neutral third-person correct? [closed]

I know there are different opinions on this issue. My question: Is using "he" for a general, gender-neutral third person still in common use for formal writing? By common use I mean, can I expect my ...
Iti's user avatar
  • 417
28 votes
19 answers
9k views

Is there a non-gendered term for "gentlemanly" [duplicate]

Opening doors, offering to pay the tab, helping with a coat or a light of the smoke: we may describe these acts of a man to be gentlemanly. In a word, how may we describe these acts of any person?
Lemma's user avatar
  • 1,327
28 votes
13 answers
24k views

Gender neutral version of housewife

Outside of American English, what gender neutral terms are there for "housewife"? There aren't any children involved, so "stay at home parent" isn't applicable. For example (when addressing an ...
Golden Cuy's user avatar
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28 votes
17 answers
13k views

Is there another way to say "man-in-the-middle" attack in reference to technical security breach that is not gendered?

Our company has determined that the term "man-in-the-middle (attack)", which is computer science lingo, is non-compliant with our stance on gender neutrality. What is the best way to use ...
Boris Seibert's user avatar
28 votes
12 answers
172k views

What is a feminine version of "dude"?

OK . . . another one similar to "What is a feminine version of 'guys'?" "Dude" is masculine; what is the feminine version? The usage I'm thinking of is that "dude" nowadays is used primarily as a ...
Mitch's user avatar
  • 71.5k
26 votes
3 answers
269 views

"Guys" losing its gendered meaning in American English

Disclaimer - I have very little knowledge of semantics, and I am mostly just a phonetics enthusiast. Thus, my question and the way I explain it may be unprofessional or may lack linguistic rigor. I'm ...
Graham H.'s user avatar
  • 890
24 votes
11 answers
58k views

What is a gender-neutral alternative to the expression "man-days"?

What is a gender-neutral alternative to the expression "man-days"? I thought of "work-days" but am wondering if there might be another term. The use would be, for instance, "This project requires ...
Amy's user avatar
  • 273
24 votes
18 answers
6k views

What is a non-gendered synonym for "macho"?

In teaching computer science, I often want to mention certain beliefs that would normally be described as "macho", such as "Strong types are for weak minds" (translation: only lousy programmers need a ...
Ellen Spertus's user avatar
22 votes
8 answers
4k views

Gender-neutral equivalent for "Take it like a man"

I'd like to find some gender-neutral equivalents of the phrase Take it like a man I'm not looking only for existing phrases -- any interesting ideas for expressing the sentiment "be tough", ...
20 votes
13 answers
78k views

Alternative for "manning" a station

Is there a non-gendered term for manning a station, as in manning the desk? The only ideas I can come up with are "stationed at" the desk or other clunky things. Finding the right gerund would make my ...
Rebecca Palmer's user avatar
20 votes
5 answers
76k views

Is ‘hero’ applicable to females?

There was the following sentence in today’s (June 4) New York Times written by its Op-Ed columnist, Nickolas Kristof under the headline, “There’s a Kind of Hush.” “Aung San Suu Kyi should be one of ...
Yoichi Oishi's user avatar
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17 votes
9 answers
8k views

Alternatives to the expression "poor man's <noun>"

I'm looking for a more politically correct substitute for the expression "poor man's", meaning an inferior improvised or makeshift substitute. Usage examples: "Guncotton is the poor man's TNT" "Poor ...
lionelbrits's user avatar
17 votes
9 answers
12k views

Is the genderless pronoun "they" appropriate and grammatical for a non-binary gender? [duplicate]

I recently had somebody tell me that a mutual friend of ours who is genderqueer prefers that people refer to him/her using the gender-indefinite pronoun they. In some cases, this almost seems okay: ...
Thomas Johnson's user avatar
17 votes
3 answers
5k views

Is "youth" gender-neutral when countable?

Matt Errey at the "English Club" website suggests otherwise. I can easily choose "young people" over "youth," but doing so might suggest I am doing it to increase word count.
Stannis's user avatar
  • 321
16 votes
6 answers
2k views

Why does "it" have a dehumanizing connotation?

There are a number of questions here on gender neutral pronouns, and one of the things that always comes up is that "it" should never be used to refer to a person (usually an adult). The general ...
Shauna's user avatar
  • 295
16 votes
3 answers
6k views

Is "Jew" gender-neutral?

I had thought that Jew was gender-neutral, until I heard somebody who was asked if their mother was a Jew and responded, "of course not; she's a Jewess". Is Jew a gender-neutral form, or does one ...
Peter Olson's user avatar
  • 6,111
16 votes
6 answers
13k views

Using both “one’s” and “their” to refer to the same entity

Consider this example: Sustainability management in large organisations is an important activity that helps to achieve one’s business goals while at the same time reducing their environmental ...
David's user avatar
  • 271
15 votes
4 answers
11k views

Gender neutral term for "maiden name"?

The term "maiden name" is only used to describe the name that a woman had before marriage, and as such, is not gender neutral. However, it occasionally occurs that a man will take his partner's last ...
randak's user avatar
  • 269
14 votes
1 answer
4k views

Specifying Pronouns as He/Him;She/Her;They/Them

It is becoming more common for people to explicitly state the pronouns to be used in addressing themselves: he/him, she/her, or they/them. For example, a name tag for a conference might read: Cory ...
arp's user avatar
  • 2,719
13 votes
5 answers
13k views

Is it appropriate to refer to a person of unknown sex by "it"?

I would like to treat a user as a non-gender noun and refer to it with the gender-neutral pronoun, it. E.g., The user defines two variables, x and y. It then multiplies each variable by a prime ...
Shani's user avatar
  • 265
13 votes
3 answers
3k views

“Mx” the gender-neutral honorific

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 ...
Mari-Lou A's user avatar
  • 91.3k
13 votes
2 answers
3k views

Is -ist a gender-neutral ending?

A person who does mathematics is a mathematician. I assume that this is a gender-neutral term. Are words ending with "-ist" gender-neutral? (typist, type theorist, and so on) Or should I ...
Nico's user avatar
  • 231
13 votes
3 answers
2k views

Is 'server', as used of restaurant server, only an AmE expression?

I noticed, in an article recounting the very robust and competent response of a young lady to inappropriate conduct, that she was described as a 'server'. I have never seen this use of the word ...
Nigel J's user avatar
  • 24.6k
12 votes
2 answers
9k views

Father and mother are to parents what brother and sister are to which gender neutral noun? [closed]

Looking for a word that denotes both brothers and sisters without gender connotations (gender neutral), in a similar fashion as parents for father and mother.
elm's user avatar
  • 423
11 votes
4 answers
10k views

Gender-independent replacement for “fiancée” and “fiancé”

I can use child to replace son or daughter, sibling for sister or brother, and parent for mother or father. What is the unisex replacement for fiancée and fiancé? I don’t need it for speech, but for ...
Konrad Garus's user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
14k views

What is a proper gender-neutral form of himself or herself [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is there a correct gender-neutral, singular pronoun (“his” versus “her” versus “their”)? Gender neutral reflexive pronoun — equivalent to &...
Chris Ballance's user avatar
11 votes
3 answers
32k views

Which is recommended/preferable between '(s)he' & 'he/she'?

When talking about or referring to someone who could either be a male or a female, I usually write it as (s)he but I have also seen usage like he/she, which also seems correct to me. I use (s)he ...
Bleeding Fingers's user avatar
10 votes
8 answers
28k views

What is a female or gender neutral form of gentleman that relays the same tone of respect?

At my office when referring to customers or external vendors I often use the word gentleman. I do this in effort to show that I’m speaking respectfully about them so the content and tone of my ...
RWL01's user avatar
  • 219
10 votes
4 answers
21k views

Gender neutral alternative to Sir/Madam

This question has been asked on this website before—but one example was closed as off topic, and the other specifically regarded use in a letter. My context requires the use of speech, as if ...
dwjohnston's user avatar
  • 10.9k
10 votes
4 answers
9k views

Gender-neutral "Jane Doe" / "John Doe"

Is there a gender-neutral alternative to "Jane Doe" / "John Doe"? I would like to provide an example of signed form, but how to avoid using gender when it comes to names? Is there some widely-used ...
Andrey's user avatar
  • 121
10 votes
2 answers
7k views

Gender-neutral mermaid

What’s the gender-neutral word for an individual mermaid (Ariel) or merman (Triton) of unknown gender? Merperson? Hiberno-English merrow? Germanic nixie (Melusine)? German: die Nixe (f.) and – rarely ...
Crissov's user avatar
  • 949
9 votes
7 answers
6k views

I am a pansexual trans/gender-fluid person

There's a risk of me potentially offending someone but I am an outsider trying to get to grips with this terminology. Online, I read someone who identified themself as a pansexual trans/gender-...
Mari-Lou A's user avatar
  • 91.3k
9 votes
3 answers
9k views

Why isn't "it" used in place of "he or she", "he/she", "s/he" etc.?

There is a related discussion on this Q&A site. My question is different. I'm all for gender awareness, but why hasn't a properly defined pronoun "it" been used instead of "he/she" or "he or she",...
grokus's user avatar
  • 3,674
9 votes
4 answers
8k views

Does the term "Brotherhood" imply that all members are males?

I'm writing a story that has a secret society or gang called "The Brotherhood", and I want to know if this term implies that all members are males (because of the term "Brother"). Would this name ...
Adam Varhegyi's user avatar
9 votes
3 answers
3k views

What happened to word gender in English?

I know English is a Germanic language and I know at least the German language still has genders — three of them in fact — masculine, feminine, neuter. So did the English nouns and ...
Justin808's user avatar
  • 1,873
9 votes
3 answers
253 views

What's an evidential basis for discussing gender-neutrality of terms? [closed]

I keep finding myself looking at questions involving the concept of gender neutrality of words or phrases. (Check out the RELATED panel down to the right there.) "Craftmanship" for example - is it ...
Spike0xff's user avatar
  • 599
9 votes
0 answers
2k views

Why are plurals ‘*humen’ and ‘*Germen’ not conventional? [duplicate]

Studying English in school as a second language, I learned that human being would be the proper noun to describe a member of the Homo sapiens species, but it seems human is perfectly acceptable in ...
Crissov's user avatar
  • 949
8 votes
7 answers
21k views

Fisherman/Fisherwoman and Gender-neutral Forms

What is the unisex form of a word like fisherman? Do you have to use fisherman and fisherwoman separately, or is fisherperson acceptable? I couldn’t find a dictionary with the word … In general, what ...
notablytipsy's user avatar
  • 2,422