Difference between revisions of "Gender neutral language in English"

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'''woman should have no rights and should be in the kitchen cooking love from ross ;)'''
 
 
 
'''Gender neutral language in English''' is easier than [[gender neutral language]] (also called gender inclusive language) in many other languages, because its grammatical gender is less pervasive than in, say, German or French. See the main article on [[gender neutral language]] for general reasons to use neutral language, common problems in using it, and its use for [[nonbinary]] people.
 
'''Gender neutral language in English''' is easier than [[gender neutral language]] (also called gender inclusive language) in many other languages, because its grammatical gender is less pervasive than in, say, German or French. See the main article on [[gender neutral language]] for general reasons to use neutral language, common problems in using it, and its use for [[nonbinary]] people.
  
 
==History==
 
==History==
  
Although English has grammatical gender, it's only a vestige of what it once had. Old English once had grammatical gender for inanimate objects, but this practice started to disappear in the 700s, and vanished in the 1200s. The population of England at that time spoke several languages, an the same inanimate objects had different genders in those different languages. They may have stopped using that part entirely just to make it simpler. English stopped using grammatical gender for inanimate objects, but it still uses grammatical gender for people and personal pronouns.<ref>Dictionary.com. "English used to have gendered nouns?! Yes!" May 16, 2012. ''Dictionary.com'' (blog). [http://blog.dictionary.com/oldenglishgender/ http://blog.dictionary.com/oldenglishgender/]</ref> There is enough to make a challenge for nonbinary people who don't want gendered language to be used for them.
+
Although English has grammatical gender, it's only a vestige of what it once had. Old English once had grammatical gender for inanimate objects, but this practice started to disappear in the 700s, and vanished in the 1200s. The population of England at that time spoke several languages, and the same inanimate objects had different genders in those different languages. They may have stopped using that part entirely just to make it simpler. English stopped using grammatical gender for inanimate objects, but it still uses grammatical gender for people and personal pronouns.<ref>Dictionary.com. "English used to have gendered nouns?! Yes!" May 16, 2012. ''Dictionary.com'' (blog). [http://blog.dictionary.com/oldenglishgender/ http://blog.dictionary.com/oldenglishgender/]</ref> There is enough to make a challenge for nonbinary people who don't want gendered language to be used for them.
  
 
Gender-neutral language has become common in English today largely thanks to the pioneering work by feminists Casey Miller and Kate Swift. During the 1970s, they began the work of encouraging inclusive language, as an alternative to sexist language that excludes or dehumanizes women. Miller and Swift wrote a manual on gender-neutral language, ''The Handbook of Nonsexist Writing'' (1980). Miller and Swift also proposed a set of gender-neutral pronouns, [[English neutral pronouns#Tey|tey]], although they later favored [[English neutral pronouns#They|singular they]], or [[English neutral pronouns#He or she|he or she]].<ref>Elizabeth Isele, "Casey Miller and Kate Swift: Women who dared to disturb the lexicon." http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/ejournals/old-WILLA/fall94/h2-isele.html </ref> There are several books on gender-neutral English, such as Rosalie Maggio's book ''The Nonsexist Word Finder: A Dictionary of Gender-Free Usage'' (1989).
 
Gender-neutral language has become common in English today largely thanks to the pioneering work by feminists Casey Miller and Kate Swift. During the 1970s, they began the work of encouraging inclusive language, as an alternative to sexist language that excludes or dehumanizes women. Miller and Swift wrote a manual on gender-neutral language, ''The Handbook of Nonsexist Writing'' (1980). Miller and Swift also proposed a set of gender-neutral pronouns, [[English neutral pronouns#Tey|tey]], although they later favored [[English neutral pronouns#They|singular they]], or [[English neutral pronouns#He or she|he or she]].<ref>Elizabeth Isele, "Casey Miller and Kate Swift: Women who dared to disturb the lexicon." http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/ejournals/old-WILLA/fall94/h2-isele.html </ref> There are several books on gender-neutral English, such as Rosalie Maggio's book ''The Nonsexist Word Finder: A Dictionary of Gender-Free Usage'' (1989).
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| Girl, maiden
 
| Girl, maiden
 
| Boy, youth
 
| Boy, youth
| Child, kid, infant, teen, tween, young person
+
| Child, kid, infant, teen, teenager, tween, young person, youth
 
| Enby
 
| Enby
 
|-
 
|-
 
| Adult person
 
| Adult person
| Woman, lady
+
| Woman, gal, lady
| Man, gentleman
+
| Man, gentleman, lad
 
| Adult, gentlebeing, gentleperson, grownup
 
| Adult, gentlebeing, gentleperson, grownup
 
| Enby, enban
 
| Enby, enban
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| Female
 
| Female
 
| Male
 
| Male
| Being, puman, human being, one, person, somebody, someone
+
| Being, human, human being, one, person, somebody, someone
 
| Enby
 
| Enby
 
|}
 
|}
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* '''Cenn.''' "Neutral, short for cennend," which see.<ref name="titles queeries"></ref>
 
* '''Cenn.''' "Neutral, short for cennend," which see.<ref name="titles queeries"></ref>
 
* '''Cennend.''' "Neutral, Old English (Anglo-Saxon) meaning parent."<ref name="titles queeries"></ref>
 
* '''Cennend.''' "Neutral, Old English (Anglo-Saxon) meaning parent."<ref name="titles queeries"></ref>
* '''Dommy.''' "Queer, mixture of mommy and daddy (note: sounds like Dom/me, a BDSM term)."<ref name="titles queeries"></ref>
+
* '''Da.''' "Queer mixture (note: sounds like Ma, Pa )
 +
*'''Dommy.''' "Queer, mixture of mommy and daddy (note: sounds like Dom/me, a BDSM term)."<ref name="titles queeries"></ref>
 
* '''Mada.''' Queer, mixture of mama and dad.
 
* '''Mada.''' Queer, mixture of mama and dad.
 
* '''Maddy.''' "Queer, mixture of mummy/mommy and daddy."<ref name="titles queeries"></ref>
 
* '''Maddy.''' "Queer, mixture of mummy/mommy and daddy."<ref name="titles queeries"></ref>
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* '''Nibi.''' "A mix of ''bibi'' and ''nini''."
 
* '''Nibi.''' "A mix of ''bibi'' and ''nini''."
 
* '''Nini.''' "Queer, based on the N in NB, similar to mama and papa/dada."<ref name="titles queeries"></ref>
 
* '''Nini.''' "Queer, based on the N in NB, similar to mama and papa/dada."<ref name="titles queeries"></ref>
* '''Non.''' Follows a similar pattern (CvC) to Mom or Dad, could be short for "nonbinary". Variation '''Nonny''' for use with young children, similar to Mommy or Daddy.
+
* '''Non.''' Follows a similar pattern (CvC) to Mom or Dad, could be short for "nonbinary".
 +
*'''Nonny.''' Based on the N in NB, similar to Mommy or Daddy, generally used when a child is referring to their nonbinary parent.
 
* '''Par.''' "Neutral, short for parent."<ref name="titles queeries"></ref>
 
* '''Par.''' "Neutral, short for parent."<ref name="titles queeries"></ref>
 
*'''Pare''': Short for '''pare'''nt. Can call to mind an au pair, which is a live in childcare worker (usually a woman but not always). The term means equal to, implying that one is equal to a mother or father. Also similar to père, or the French word for father. Other associations include pear (the fruit) or pair, as in the other half of a couple.
 
*'''Pare''': Short for '''pare'''nt. Can call to mind an au pair, which is a live in childcare worker (usually a woman but not always). The term means equal to, implying that one is equal to a mother or father. Also similar to père, or the French word for father. Other associations include pear (the fruit) or pair, as in the other half of a couple.
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* '''Bitsy.''' Non-standard [[genderqueer]] term for a very young person.<ref name="titles queeries"></ref>
 
* '''Bitsy.''' Non-standard [[genderqueer]] term for a very young person.<ref name="titles queeries"></ref>
 
* '''Charge.''' Standard gender neutral word for a person in the care of another, often one's child.
 
* '''Charge.''' Standard gender neutral word for a person in the care of another, often one's child.
 +
*'''Chitlin.''' A way of saying children in a non plural way, often used when referring to a nonbinary child.
 
* '''Dependent.''' A person who relies on another-- usually a family member who may or may not be their parent-- for financial support; this is most often used as a standard gender-neutral word for a child too young to work. Formal.
 
* '''Dependent.''' A person who relies on another-- usually a family member who may or may not be their parent-- for financial support; this is most often used as a standard gender-neutral word for a child too young to work. Formal.
 
* '''Enby.''' From "NB (nonbinary)", a nonbinary equivalent of the words "boy" and "girl." However, some adults call themselves enbies.
 
* '''Enby.''' From "NB (nonbinary)", a nonbinary equivalent of the words "boy" and "girl." However, some adults call themselves enbies.
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}}
 
}}
  
* '''Chibling.''' "Neutral, the children of you sibling."<ref name="titles queeries"></ref>
+
* '''Chibling.''' "Neutral, the children of your sibling."<ref name="titles queeries"></ref>
 
* '''Cousin.''' "Neutral, as sometimes people say niece/nephew for cousins’ children, or much younger cousins."<ref name="titles queeries"></ref>
 
* '''Cousin.''' "Neutral, as sometimes people say niece/nephew for cousins’ children, or much younger cousins."<ref name="titles queeries"></ref>
 
* '''Nespring.''' A mix of ''offspring'' and the Latin word ''nepos'', from which both ''niece'' and ''nephew'' are derived.
 
* '''Nespring.''' A mix of ''offspring'' and the Latin word ''nepos'', from which both ''niece'' and ''nephew'' are derived.
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* '''Nephiece.''' "Queer, mixture of nephew and niece."<ref name="titles queeries"></ref>
 
* '''Nephiece.''' "Queer, mixture of nephew and niece."<ref name="titles queeries"></ref>
 
* '''Sibkid.''' "Neutral, short for sibling’s kid."<ref name="titles queeries"></ref>
 
* '''Sibkid.''' "Neutral, short for sibling’s kid."<ref name="titles queeries"></ref>
 +
* '''Niephew.''' "A mixture of niece and nephew."
  
 
====Grandparent====
 
====Grandparent====
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* '''Grandy.'''' "Neutral, short for Grandparent, Grandma or Grandpa."<ref name="titles queeries"></ref>
 
* '''Grandy.'''' "Neutral, short for Grandparent, Grandma or Grandpa."<ref name="titles queeries"></ref>
 
* '''Nini.''' "Queer, based on the N in NB, similar to nana and papa."<ref name="titles queeries"></ref>
 
* '''Nini.''' "Queer, based on the N in NB, similar to nana and papa."<ref name="titles queeries"></ref>
 +
*'''Gran'''. Short for grandparent, grandmother, or grandfather.
  
 
====Sibling====
 
====Sibling====
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{{common word
 
{{common word
 
|word1 = Date |meaning1 = Neutral, the person you are dating.|ref1 = <ref name="titles queeries"></ref>
 
|word1 = Date |meaning1 = Neutral, the person you are dating.|ref1 = <ref name="titles queeries"></ref>
|word2 = Lover|meaning2 = Neutral, often implies sexual relationship, but simply refers to someone you love/who loves you.|ref2 = <ref name="titles queeries"></ref>
+
|word2 = Love/Lover|meaning2 = Neutral, often implies sexual relationship, but simply refers to someone you love/who loves you.|ref2 = <ref name="titles queeries"></ref>
 
|word3 = Sweetie/Sweetheart |meaning3 = Neutral, cheesy or old-fashioned.|ref3 = <ref name="titles queeries"></ref>}}
 
|word3 = Sweetie/Sweetheart |meaning3 = Neutral, cheesy or old-fashioned.|ref3 = <ref name="titles queeries"></ref>}}
  
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* '''Paramour.''' "Neutral, someone you are having a sexual relationship with."<ref name="titles queeries"></ref>
 
* '''Paramour.''' "Neutral, someone you are having a sexual relationship with."<ref name="titles queeries"></ref>
 
* '''Personfriend.''' "Neutral, leaning towards queer, based on boyfriend and girlfriend."<ref name="titles queeries"></ref>
 
* '''Personfriend.''' "Neutral, leaning towards queer, based on boyfriend and girlfriend."<ref name="titles queeries"></ref>
 +
*'''Theyfriend.''' "Neutral, based on a combination of pronouns and boyfriend and girlfriend."
  
 
=====Significant other=====
 
=====Significant other=====
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* '''Birlfriend.''' "Queer, mix of boyfriend and girlfriend."<ref name="titles queeries"></ref> [[Birl]] is also a particular gender identity.
 
* '''Birlfriend.''' "Queer, mix of boyfriend and girlfriend."<ref name="titles queeries"></ref> [[Birl]] is also a particular gender identity.
 
* '''Boifriend.''' "Queer, [[boi]] is a particular gender identity."<ref name="titles queeries"></ref>
 
* '''Boifriend.''' "Queer, [[boi]] is a particular gender identity."<ref name="titles queeries"></ref>
 +
*'''Boofriend.''' "Neutral, playing off of 'Boo' (above)." Great cute option!
 
* '''Bothfriend.''' "Queer, for [[bigender]] or [[androgynous]] people."<ref name="titles queeries"></ref>
 
* '''Bothfriend.''' "Queer, for [[bigender]] or [[androgynous]] people."<ref name="titles queeries"></ref>
 
* '''Boygirlfriend.''' "Queer, for bigender or androgynous people."<ref name="titles queeries"></ref>
 
* '''Boygirlfriend.''' "Queer, for bigender or androgynous people."<ref name="titles queeries"></ref>
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* '''Cowhand.''' Standard gender neutral term for cowboy or cowgirl.
 
* '''Cowhand.''' Standard gender neutral term for cowboy or cowgirl.
 
* '''Heroix.''' Proposed nonbinary equivalent to hero or heroine that specifies an individual doing heroic work is nonbinary.
 
* '''Heroix.''' Proposed nonbinary equivalent to hero or heroine that specifies an individual doing heroic work is nonbinary.
* '''Horse rider.''' Standard gender neutral term for horseman or horsewoman.
+
* '''Horse rider/Equestrian .''' Standard gender neutral term for horseman or horsewoman.
 
* '''Minister.''' Standard gender neutral term for priest or priestess.
 
* '''Minister.''' Standard gender neutral term for priest or priestess.
 
* '''Monarch.''' Standard gender neutral term for a king or queen.
 
* '''Monarch.''' Standard gender neutral term for a king or queen.
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* '''Prime.''' Derived from Latin. Gender Neutral term for a prince or princess.
 
* '''Prime.''' Derived from Latin. Gender Neutral term for a prince or princess.
 
* '''Princette.''' Queer, based on the Prince/ess ending. Gender Neutral term for a prince or princess.
 
* '''Princette.''' Queer, based on the Prince/ess ending. Gender Neutral term for a prince or princess.
* '''Princexx/Princex/Prinx''' Other gender neutral terms for Prince/Princess/Royalty incorporating the letter x; a common indicator of gender neutral language
+
* '''Princexx/Princex/Prinx''' Other gender neutral terms for Prince/Princess/Royalty incorporating the letter x; a common indicator of gender neutral language.
 +
 
 
* '''Royalty.''' Standard. Usually refers to a family but can be used as a Gender Neutral term for a prince/princess or a king/queen.
 
* '''Royalty.''' Standard. Usually refers to a family but can be used as a Gender Neutral term for a prince/princess or a king/queen.
 
* '''Noble.''' A nobleman/noblewoman, lord/lady, prince/princess, duke/duchess, or many other noble ranks that lack specific gender neutral titles.
 
* '''Noble.''' A nobleman/noblewoman, lord/lady, prince/princess, duke/duchess, or many other noble ranks that lack specific gender neutral titles.
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* '''Police officer''' Standard gender neutral term for policeman or policewoman.
 
* '''Police officer''' Standard gender neutral term for policeman or policewoman.
 
* '''Server.''' Standard gender neutral term for a person who provides items to customers, such as a "waiter/waitress" or "steward/stewardess".
 
* '''Server.''' Standard gender neutral term for a person who provides items to customers, such as a "waiter/waitress" or "steward/stewardess".
 +
* '''Priestx''' Other gender neutral term to substitute for Priest or Priestess, mainly used in Pagan community.
  
 
===Descriptions===
 
===Descriptions===
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* '''Fankid.''' Neutral, after fanboy or fangirl.
 
* '''Fankid.''' Neutral, after fanboy or fangirl.
 
* '''Wedding usher.''' Neutral, alternative to bridesmaid or groomsman.
 
* '''Wedding usher.''' Neutral, alternative to bridesmaid or groomsman.
 +
* '''Fellowship of the Rings.''' Neutral alternative to a party of nonbinary Wedding Ushers.
  
 
==See also==
 
==See also==

Latest revision as of 16:04, 31 January 2020

Gender neutral language in English is easier than gender neutral language (also called gender inclusive language) in many other languages, because its grammatical gender is less pervasive than in, say, German or French. See the main article on gender neutral language for general reasons to use neutral language, common problems in using it, and its use for nonbinary people.

History[edit | edit source]

Although English has grammatical gender, it's only a vestige of what it once had. Old English once had grammatical gender for inanimate objects, but this practice started to disappear in the 700s, and vanished in the 1200s. The population of England at that time spoke several languages, and the same inanimate objects had different genders in those different languages. They may have stopped using that part entirely just to make it simpler. English stopped using grammatical gender for inanimate objects, but it still uses grammatical gender for people and personal pronouns.[1] There is enough to make a challenge for nonbinary people who don't want gendered language to be used for them.

Gender-neutral language has become common in English today largely thanks to the pioneering work by feminists Casey Miller and Kate Swift. During the 1970s, they began the work of encouraging inclusive language, as an alternative to sexist language that excludes or dehumanizes women. Miller and Swift wrote a manual on gender-neutral language, The Handbook of Nonsexist Writing (1980). Miller and Swift also proposed a set of gender-neutral pronouns, tey, although they later favored singular they, or he or she.[2] There are several books on gender-neutral English, such as Rosalie Maggio's book The Nonsexist Word Finder: A Dictionary of Gender-Free Usage (1989).

Words and alternatives[edit | edit source]

This is a list of both standard (dictionary) and non-standard (created) terms and pronouns to include nonbinary identities. It should be noted that while some are genderless or third gender, others are multigender. Terms will be marked with the implied gender identity when possible.

Pronouns[edit | edit source]

See main article at English neutral pronouns.

Titles[edit | edit source]

See main article at Gender neutral titles.

Common nouns[edit | edit source]

Type of common noun Feminine Masculine Gender inclusive (could be masculine or feminine) Specifically nonbinary
Young person Girl, maiden Boy, youth Child, kid, infant, teen, teenager, tween, young person, youth Enby
Adult person Woman, gal, lady Man, gentleman, lad Adult, gentlebeing, gentleperson, grownup Enby, enban
Person of any age Female Male Being, human, human being, one, person, somebody, someone Enby

Family and relationship words[edit | edit source]

See also: family and intimacy.

Parent[edit | edit source]

Parents as in the formal words mother or father, or the informal mama or dada. Gender-neutral and gender-inclusive words for a parent of any gender, or non-standard specifically nonbinary, queer, or genderqueer words.

Common words

  • Parent: Neutral, formal[3]
  • Baba. "Neutral, based on mama and dada. (Note, baba means dad in some languages and grandmother in others.)"[3]
  • Bibi. "Queer, based on the B in NB [nonbinary], similar to mama and papa/dada."[3]
  • Cenn. "Neutral, short for cennend," which see.[3]
  • Cennend. "Neutral, Old English (Anglo-Saxon) meaning parent."[3]
  • Da. "Queer mixture (note: sounds like Ma, Pa )
  • Dommy. "Queer, mixture of mommy and daddy (note: sounds like Dom/me, a BDSM term)."[3]
  • Mada. Queer, mixture of mama and dad.
  • Maddy. "Queer, mixture of mummy/mommy and daddy."[3]
  • Moddy. "Queer, mixture of mommy and daddy."[3]
  • Muddy. "Queer, mixture of mummy and daddy."[3]
  • Nibi. "A mix of bibi and nini."
  • Nini. "Queer, based on the N in NB, similar to mama and papa/dada."[3]
  • Non. Follows a similar pattern (CvC) to Mom or Dad, could be short for "nonbinary".
  • Nonny. Based on the N in NB, similar to Mommy or Daddy, generally used when a child is referring to their nonbinary parent.
  • Par. "Neutral, short for parent."[3]
  • Pare: Short for parent. Can call to mind an au pair, which is a live in childcare worker (usually a woman but not always). The term means equal to, implying that one is equal to a mother or father. Also similar to père, or the French word for father. Other associations include pear (the fruit) or pair, as in the other half of a couple.
  • Parental Unit (PU). Neutral, informal, humorous, possibly disrespectful. Used by the alien family in Coneheads, and taken up by popular culture.[3]
  • Per. "Neutral, short for parent."[3] (See also: per pronouns and Pr title.)
  • Ren. Derived from "parent." Gender-neutral. The equivalent to mommy or daddy is "renny." Coined or popularized by Katie Hall in 2017.[4]
  • Zaza. "Queer, based on mama and papa/dada."[3]
  • Zither. "Queer, based on mother and father. (Note, zither is also the name of a musical instrument.)"[3]

Child[edit | edit source]

Some of these gender-inclusive or gender-queer words refer only to relationship (as in daughter, son, or offspring), others only to age (girl, boy, or young one), and some to both (children).

Common words

  • Baby: Standard neutral word for very young offspring or very young people.
  • Child: Standard gender neutral word for a young person or an offspring. Implied age isn't adult, but may be.
  • Kid: Standard informal gender neutral term for young children or young offspring.
  • Bitsy. Non-standard genderqueer term for a very young person.[3]
  • Charge. Standard gender neutral word for a person in the care of another, often one's child.
  • Chitlin. A way of saying children in a non plural way, often used when referring to a nonbinary child.
  • Dependent. A person who relies on another-- usually a family member who may or may not be their parent-- for financial support; this is most often used as a standard gender-neutral word for a child too young to work. Formal.
  • Enby. From "NB (nonbinary)", a nonbinary equivalent of the words "boy" and "girl." However, some adults call themselves enbies.
  • Get. Poetic language for offspring.
  • Little one. Neutral word for a very young child or young offspring.
  • Minor. Standard gender-neutral word for a person under the legal age of consent.
  • Nesser. Non-standard genderqueer term for "daughter/son".[3]
  • Offspring. Neutral, standard word, but not usually used for people, except in legal language.
  • Oldest. Neutral, a way of speaking of one's offspring by saying "my oldest," rather than saying "my daughter/son."[3]
  • Sprog. Neutral, crude word for a young person.[3]
  • Youth. Neutral, poetic word for a young person, but usually implied to be male.
  • Young. Neutral, standard word for offspring, but not usually used for people ("my young.")
  • Youngest. Neutral, a way of speaking of one's offspring by saying "my youngest," rather than saying "my daughter/son."[3]
  • Young one. Neutral, poetic. Alternatively: young'un.
  • Young person. Neutral, standard, formal.
  • Ward. Standard gender-neutral word for a person, usually a child, under the care of an adult, who may or may not be their parent. Formal.

Aunt/Uncle[edit | edit source]

Standard English doesn't have a gender neutral word for one's parent's sibling. People have created some words to fill this lexical gap, but they are still uncommon words.

Common words

  • Auncle: Combination of aunt and uncle.[5]
  • Avaunt. It derives from the roots of both "aunt" and "uncle", the anglo-French "aunte" and the Latin "avunculus".
  • Bibi. "Queer, based on the B in NB [nonbinary], similar to Titi/Zizi."[3]
  • Cousin. "Neutral, as sometimes people say aunt/uncle for parents’ cousins, or much older cousins."[3]
  • Entle. "Non-standard alternative that combines the sounds of aunt and uncle in a single word."[6]
  • Nini. "Queer, based on the N in NB, similar to Titi/Zizi."[3]
  • Ommer. Non-standard genderqueer term for "aunt/uncle".
  • Pibling. "Neutral, your parent’s sibling."[3]
  • Titi. "Neutral, from the Spanish for Aunt (Tia) and Uncle (Tio). (however, it is often a diminutive of aunt.)"[3] "Titi" also happens to be a vulgar Filipino term for penis.[citation needed]
  • Zizi. "Neutral, from the Italian for Aunt (Zia) and Uncle (Zio). (Note: zizi is also a French children’s ‘cute’ word for penis.)"[3]
  • Untie/Unty. "Queer, combination of uncle and auntie/aunty."[3]

Niece/Nephew[edit | edit source]

Standard English doesn't have a gender neutral word for one's sibling's child. People have created some words to fill this lexical gap, but they are still uncommon words.

Common words

  • Nibling: Non-standard gender neutral term for "niece/nephew".[7]
  • Chibling. "Neutral, the children of your sibling."[3]
  • Cousin. "Neutral, as sometimes people say niece/nephew for cousins’ children, or much younger cousins."[3]
  • Nespring. A mix of offspring and the Latin word nepos, from which both niece and nephew are derived.
  • Niecew. "Queer, mixture of niece and nephew."[3]
  • Nieph. "Queer, mixture of niece and nephew."[3]
  • Niephling. Neutral, mixture of niece, nephew, and sibling. [8]
  • Nephiece. "Queer, mixture of nephew and niece."[3]
  • Sibkid. "Neutral, short for sibling’s kid."[3]
  • Niephew. "A mixture of niece and nephew."

Grandparent[edit | edit source]

Gender-neutral or genderqueer words for grandparent.

Common words

  • Grandparent: Neutral, formal.[3]
  • Bibi. "Queer, based on the B in NB, similar to nana and papa."[3]
  • Grandwa. "Queer, based on grandma and grandpa."[3]
  • Grandy.' "Neutral, short for Grandparent, Grandma or Grandpa."[3]
  • Nini. "Queer, based on the N in NB, similar to nana and papa."[3]
  • Gran. Short for grandparent, grandmother, or grandfather.

Sibling[edit | edit source]

Gender-neutral or genderqueer words for sibling.

Common words

  • Sibling: Standard gender neutral term for sister or brother.
  • Sib: Short for sibling, equivalent of bro or sis.
  • Emmer. Non-standard genderqueer term for sibling.
  • Sibster. "Queer, combination of sibling and sister."[3]
  • Sibter. "Queer, combination of sibling and brother."[3]

Partner[edit | edit source]

Gender-inclusive or genderqueer words for tentative romantic and sexual partners (as in girlfriend, boyfriend, or date) as well as permanent ones (as in wife, husband, or spouse).

Date[edit | edit source]

Gender-neutral and genderqueer words for a non-committed relationship, such as boyfriend, girlfriend, or date.

Common words

  • Date: Neutral, the person you are dating.[3]
  • Love/Lover: Neutral, often implies sexual relationship, but simply refers to someone you love/who loves you.[3]
  • Sweetie/Sweetheart: Neutral, cheesy or old-fashioned.[3]
  • Birlfriend. "Queer, mix of boyfriend and girlfriend."[3] Birl is also a particular gender identity.
  • Boifriend. "Queer, boi is a particular gender identity."[3]
  • Boo. From "beau". Originated as African American slang, but now used more widely.
  • Bothfriend. "Queer, for bigender or androgynous people."[3]
  • Boygirlfriend. "Queer, for bigender or androgynous people."[3]
  • Cuddle Buddy. "Neutral, cheesy."[3]
  • Datefriend. "Neutral, the person you are dating, but fitting the boyfriend/girlfriend pattern."[3]
  • Datemate. "Neutral, a rhyming version of datefriend, the person you are dating."[3]
  • Enbyfriend. "Queer, based on boyfriend and girfriend. (note: enby comes from NB, non-binary)."[3]
  • Feyfriend. Queer, due to the implications of "fey."[3]
  • Genderfriend. "Queer, based on boyfriend and girlfriend."[3]
  • Girlboyfriend. "Queer, for bigender or androgynous people."[3]
  • [name]friend. "Queer, based on girlfriend and boyfriend."[3]
  • Paramour. "Neutral, someone you are having a sexual relationship with."[3]
  • Personfriend. "Neutral, leaning towards queer, based on boyfriend and girlfriend."[3]
  • Theyfriend. "Neutral, based on a combination of pronouns and boyfriend and girlfriend."
Significant other[edit | edit source]

Gender-neutral and genderqueer words for a girlfriend, boyfriend, or partner in a committed relationship.

Common words

  • Beloved: Neutral, one who one loves.
  • Partner: Neutral, often (but not necessarily) queer.
  • Significant Other (SO): Neutral, quite formal. Implies monogamy.[3]
  • Birlfriend. "Queer, mix of boyfriend and girlfriend."[3] Birl is also a particular gender identity.
  • Boifriend. "Queer, boi is a particular gender identity."[3]
  • Boofriend. "Neutral, playing off of 'Boo' (above)." Great cute option!
  • Bothfriend. "Queer, for bigender or androgynous people."[3]
  • Boygirlfriend. "Queer, for bigender or androgynous people."[3]
  • Companion. "Neutral, reference to Doctor Who’s companions, or Firefly’s Companions."[3]
  • Cuddle Buddy. "Neutral, cheesy."[3]
  • Enbyfriend. "Queer, based on boyfriend and girfriend. (note: enby comes from NB, non-binary)."[3]
  • Feyfriend. Queer, due to the implications of "fey."[3]
  • Genderfriend. "Queer, based on boyfriend and girlfriend."[3]
  • Girlboyfriend. "Queer, for bigender or androgynous people."[3]
  • Imzadi. "Neutral, from Star Trek, a Betazed word similar to beloved."[3]
  • Loveperson. "Neutral, a person that you love."[3]
  • [name]friend. "Queer, based on girlfriend and boyfriend."[3]
  • Other Half. "Neutral, informal, and implies monogamy."[3]
  • Paramour. "Neutral, someone you are having a sexual relationship with."[3]
  • Personfriend. "Neutral, leaning towards queer, based on boyfriend and girlfriend."[3]
  • Signif. Neutral. Slang abbreviation of "significant other."[9]
  • S.O.. Neutral. Widely used abbreviation of "significant other."
  • Soul Mate. "Neutral, slightly cheesy, implies belief in soul mates."[3] Implies monogamy.
  • Steady. "Neutral, as in 'going steady' or 'steady girlfriend/boyfriend'."[3] Implies monogamy.
  • Sweetie. "Neutral, slightly cheesy."[3]
  • Sweetheart. "Neutral, cheesy or old-fashioned."[3]
Fiancée/Fiancé[edit | edit source]

In addition to the above list of words for significant other.

  • Betrothed. "Neutral, formal."[3] Usually means an arranged marriage.
Spouse[edit | edit source]

In addition to the above list of words for significant other.

  • Spouse. "Standard, neutral, formal."[3]

Other family relationships[edit | edit source]

Gender-neutral and genderqueer words for other kinds of family relationships.

  • Godparent. Standard gender neutral term for godfather or godmother.
  • Grandchild. Standard gender neutral term for grandson or granddaughter.

Professions[edit | edit source]

  • Bar tender. Standard gender neutral term for barman or barmaid.
  • Business person. Standard gender neutral term for businessman or businesswoman.
  • Clergy member. Standard gender neutral term for clergyman, priest, priestess, and many religious titles.
  • Consort. Term for the Queen or Prince Consort, dropping the gendered part.
  • Cowhand. Standard gender neutral term for cowboy or cowgirl.
  • Heroix. Proposed nonbinary equivalent to hero or heroine that specifies an individual doing heroic work is nonbinary.
  • Horse rider/Equestrian . Standard gender neutral term for horseman or horsewoman.
  • Minister. Standard gender neutral term for priest or priestess.
  • Monarch. Standard gender neutral term for a king or queen.
  • Monarch's heir. Gender neutral term for a prince or princess.
  • Prime. Derived from Latin. Gender Neutral term for a prince or princess.
  • Princette. Queer, based on the Prince/ess ending. Gender Neutral term for a prince or princess.
  • Princexx/Princex/Prinx Other gender neutral terms for Prince/Princess/Royalty incorporating the letter x; a common indicator of gender neutral language.
  • Royalty. Standard. Usually refers to a family but can be used as a Gender Neutral term for a prince/princess or a king/queen.
  • Noble. A nobleman/noblewoman, lord/lady, prince/princess, duke/duchess, or many other noble ranks that lack specific gender neutral titles.
  • Pilot. Standard gender neutral term for aviator or aviatrix.
  • Police officer Standard gender neutral term for policeman or policewoman.
  • Server. Standard gender neutral term for a person who provides items to customers, such as a "waiter/waitress" or "steward/stewardess".
  • Priestx Other gender neutral term to substitute for Priest or Priestess, mainly used in Pagan community.

Descriptions[edit | edit source]

  • Attractive. Gender neutral term equally applicable to "handsome" or "beautiful" individuals. Implies the speaker experiences some form of attraction, so might not be suitable for people who are aromantic or asexual.
  • Gorgeous. Gender neutral alternative to "handsome" or "beautiful," but tends to be feminine.
  • Youthful. Gender neutral alternative to "boyish" or perhaps "girlish," but tends to be masculine.

Deity titles[edit | edit source]

  • Absolute Being. Standard term for a monotheistic deity, without implied gender.
  • Almighty. Standard term for a monotheistic deity, without implied gender.
  • Creator. Standard term for a deity who created the world and/or humankind.
  • Deity. Standard gender neutral term for a god or goddess.
  • Divine, the. Common gender neutral term for a deity or supernatural forces.
  • Divine being. Common gender neutral term for a deity or supernatural entity.
  • God. Standard gender neutral term for a god or goddess, but tends to be presumed male.
  • Goddex. "Queer, based on the God/dess ending."[3]
  • Goddette. "Queer, based on the God/ess ending."[3]
  • Goddeq. "Queer, based on the God/ess ending."[3]
  • Heavens, the. Common gender neutral term for a deity, deities, or supernatural forces.
  • Higher Power. Standard gender neutral term for a deity, deities, or supernatural forces.
  • Liege. Neutral equivalent of lord or lady.
  • Powers that be. Common gender neutral term for a god, goddess, or similar supernatural beings or forces.
  • Ruler. Neutral equivalent of lord or lady.
  • Sovereign. Neutral equivalent of lord or lady.
  • Wild Divine, the. New Age name for God, Goddess, or primal supernatural forces.

Other terms[edit | edit source]

  • Fanenby. Queer, using enby after fanboy or fangirl.[3]
  • Fankid. Neutral, after fanboy or fangirl.
  • Wedding usher. Neutral, alternative to bridesmaid or groomsman.
  • Fellowship of the Rings. Neutral alternative to a party of nonbinary Wedding Ushers.

See also[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]