« I traded off they/them/their pronouns for he/him/his pronouns. I made this switch because I realized just how much I truly enjoy being acknowledged as a guy. »
Zayden, 26[1]

Pronouns are a part of language used to refer to someone or something without using proper nouns. In standard English, some singular third-person pronouns are "he" and "she," which are usually seen as gender-specific pronouns, referring to a man and a woman, respectively. A gender-neutral pronoun or gender-inclusive pronoun is one that gives no implications about gender, and could be used for someone of any gender. Some languages only have gender-neutral pronouns, whereas other languages have difficulty establishing any that aren't gender-specific. People with nonbinary gender identities often choose new third-person pronouns for themselves as part of their transition. They often choose gender-neutral pronouns so that others won't see them as female or male.

Use for nonbinary peopleEdit

Although many gender-neutral pronouns were created to speak of no specific person, some nonbinary people adopt these pronouns for themselves. They ask that other people call them only by one particular set of gender-neutral pronouns. This can be a part of a nonbinary person's social transition.

Examples of specific nonbinary people's pronounsEdit

Some nonbinary people ask to be called by gender-neutral pronouns. Other nonbinary people ask to be called by "he" or "she" pronouns, some of whom see that as a gender-neutral use of those words. The use of binary pronouns doesn't necessarily mean that someone has a binary gender identity. Some nonbinary people have more than one set of pronouns that they are okay with people using for them.

He. Some specific nonbinary people who ask to be called by "he/him" pronouns include writer Richard O'Brien.

She. Nonbinary people who ask people to use "she/her" pronouns for them include public speaker Olave Basabose, internet personality Left at London, musician JD Samson, activist Kate Bornstein (who also goes by "they")[2] and comedian Eddie Izzard[3].

They. Some nonbinary people ask to be called by "singular they" pronouns, including comedian Jes Tom, writer Ivan E. Coyote, actor Jiz Lee, writer R.B. Lemberg, singer-songwriter Rae Spoon, performance poet Kae Tempest[4] and musician Stevie Knipe.

Other pronouns. Nonbinary people who go by other pronouns include singer Mx Justin Vivian Bond, who goes by v pronouns. "Ze, hir" pronouns are the preferred pronouns of revolutionary communist Leslie Feinberg (who also went by she)[5].

Any pronouns. Some nonbinary people have no specific pronoun they want used; they are okay with any and all pronouns. For example, the model Rain Dove, voice actor Casey Mongillo, and makeup artist Justin Saint.

No pronouns. Some nonbinary people wish that no third-person pronouns be used, preferring their name or another descriptor be used in place of pronouns. For example, the evangelist Public Universal Friend and the software developer Lianna Newman.


There have been a few surveys on gender-neutral pronouns and pronoun preferences.

  • This survey by anlamasanda on Tumblr ran for many months. The results were published at the start of 2012, and showed that of the 800+ people responding, singular "they" was the most popular pronoun at 62%. Commentary.
  • This survey by Lottelodge (now cassolotl) on Tumblr ran for two months. The results were published in July 2013, and showed that of over 2,000 respondents singular "they" was the most popular pronoun at 63%. Commentary. This rose to 74% in 2015,[6] and 77% in 2016.[7]
  • Nonbinary Stats Survey of 2016 ran in January for 8 days, and published its results in March. The most popular pronoun was "they," at 77.5%, followed by she, he, "mix it up," and a preference to not have others pronouns for one at all. The survey recorded 123 different pronoun sets in use among 3055 nonbinary people, of which, 90 pronouns were entered only once.

How to change your pronounsEdit

If you are nonbinary and want to change your pronouns, this is a purely social part of your transition, rather than one using paperwork. First, you should put some thought into choosing pronouns that feel satisfactory to you. Research and experiment to find out what feels right. Next, you need to tell other people. As a part of social transition, you need cooperation from other people in order to be called by the pronouns you want, so it's important to keep your composure as well as stay firm. You can help remind people of your pronouns by wearing them on a badge or writing them in your social media profile.

Choosing your pronounsEdit

First, form your opinions on what you want from your new pronouns. Next, list your favorite pronouns, and compare them to your opinions so that you can list their pros and cons. Meanwhile, test your favorite pronouns out loud and in writing, to see how they feel to you in action. You might want to think about why exactly you do not like your "original" pronoun.

Form opinionsEdit

You can use several criteria to help rank and decide between different pronouns. See Pronouns criteria for a whole list.

Compare themEdit

Next, after you decide what criteria you want for your pronouns, browse a list of pronouns. You can find such a list for the English language at English neutral pronouns on this wiki. Other lists are available at Talk:English neutral pronouns, Nounself pronouns, on Wiktionary, on, or in Failedslacker's Pronoun Dressing Room. Write down a list of the ones you like. Put them in a table, with columns for what you see as the good and bad traits of those pronouns. After you finish assessing them all, write down your concluding opinion about each in the last column. Here is a small example of such a table.

Pronoun Pros Cons Conclusion
ve, verself Used in a book I like Doesn't sound right to me Maybe no
E, Emself Common, easy to say Too short? Maybe yes

You can use the above table as your template. Create your own table in a word processor, or draw it by hand in your journal. Although the above table only compares two sets of pronouns, you can add rows for as many pronouns that interest you. You don't need to form your conclusions on all pronouns in one sitting. Perhaps over the course of a few days, take your time to form your opinions on each pronoun set, and return periodically to add more notes to your pronoun table.

Test themEdit

At the same time as you work on the above table of pros and cons, test the pronouns that you might like. Try them in several ways: in writing, out loud, and in reference to you. If you have friends who understand, test out having them call you by these pronouns for a little while. You can help your friends with this by wearing a pronoun badge (see below). You can also test how your pronouns look in writing by using web-sites that put them into a text. Such sites include Genderev's Pronoun Try-On, Failedslacker's Pronoun Dressing Room, Pronoun Island and You may find that you feel differently about the pronouns when they are in action, and when they are in reference to you.

Announcing your change of pronounsEdit

When you have settled on your chosen set of pronouns, you need to tell people, so they can start using them for you. Announce it to them by a handwritten letter, e-mail, or blog post. Keep your message polite, and say "please" and "thank you." In order to be complete, and to address the first questions the reader might ask, your announcement should include these parts:

  • Opening: Assuming that you have already come out to these people as nonbinary, your announcement message should open with a reminder of that, as part of the explanation for why you want to change your pronouns.
  • List all the grammatical forms of your new pronouns.
  • Show people how to use these pronouns by giving an example of them in use in a sentence or several.
  • You might tell how to pronounce the pronouns.
  • Briefly say why you chose these pronouns rather than others.
  • If you use two sets of pronouns, explain which set is more appropriate, under what conditions.
  • Conclusion: Request that people use these pronouns for you.

Based on the above, here is a sample letter of a fictional person announcing their pronoun change. You can use it as a template for writing your own.

Dear Stuart,

As you know, I have a nonbinary gender identity, meaning that I don't think of myself as a woman or a man. I'm transitioning to a gender expression that feels more like the real me. Since being called "he" or "she" doesn't feel right to me, I have decided to change my pronouns to singular they (they, them, their, theirs, themself). For an example of these pronouns in a couple sentences: "They are Morgan, that's them. They will read their book by themself". I like these singular gender-neutral pronouns the best because they were used by Shakespeare, Jane Austen, and other great writers. They have been a part of English for a long time. From now on, please call me by "they" pronouns, instead of "he" or "she".

Thank you,

Mx Morgan Doe

You can also use the above sample letter as a template for writing an e-mail, just by leaving out the signature. Use it as a template for a blog post by leaving out the salutation.

Pronoun badgesEdit

To help other people remember which pronouns you want to be called by, you can wear a badge, jewelry, accessory, or piece of clothing with your pronouns written on it. Learn more at Pronoun badges.

Pronoun etiquetteEdit

Many binary and nonbinary transgender folk experience gender dysphoria when people refer to them using the wrong pronouns. For those who don't pass as well as they'd like, being called by the wrong gender (misgendered) with the wrong pronouns is a common problem with a lot of work involved. An individual, upon being misgendered, is forced to either do the coming out spiel or grin and bear it, making the coming out later more awkward. If someone corrects you on their pronouns, the best way you can help is to start using their preferred pronouns right away without argument.

If your pronouns are unusual, or aren't what people think of as matching your gender expression, you may have to get used to reminding people to use them, and explaining them to people a lot. Learn people's common questions and objections to your pronouns, and rehearse your responses to them, so that you can keep your composure.

A person can have more than one set of pronouns that they want people to use for them. For example, suppose that your favorite set of pronouns might be "ze, hir." However, you don't want these to make an accessibility problem for people who have trouble with English, or maybe there are some situations where you don't feel safe using them, or don't feel up to the challenge of getting people to use them. In that case, you have decided to let people also call you by a second set of pronouns (auxiliary pronouns) that you like almost but not quite as much: "she, her." Many nonbinary people may also use two or more pronouns with equal preference, which may look like allowing others to decide which of their pronouns to use, using different pronouns in different situations, or alternating pronouns equally. For another example, some genderfluid people feel comfortable or uncomfortable with certain pronouns depending on the current state of their gender identity. As a result, they alternate pronouns depending on their current identity, and ask to be called by different pronouns at different times.

Unusual pronouns can make trouble for people who speak English as a second language, or who have disabilities that make it harder for them to speak and understand English. Unusual pronouns are difficult to understand for people who lipread.[8] If you or another person have difficulty using unusual pronouns for these reasons, then it is acceptable and appropriate to ask a person if they have another set of pronouns that you can use in that case.[9]

Arabic neutral pronounsEdit

Gender-neutral pronouns in Modern Standard Arabic (اللغة العربية) include:

هما means "they, originally dual, can work as a neutral singular third person."[10]

انتما means "second person dual."[10]

Bulgarian neutral pronounsEdit

Gender-neutral pronouns in Bulgarian language (български език) include:

те/тях/техен/им "generally used for a group of people, could be used as singular as in 'they'"[10]

то/него/негово/му "means 'it', informal"[10]

Chinese neutral pronounsEdit

Gender-neutral pronouns in Mandarin Chinese (普通话) include:

tā/ta1 is the standard pronoun for people, which when pronounced aloud is gender-neutral. Before the language was influenced by Europeans, "他" was the proper way of rendering "tā" (regardless of gender); with the radical "亻" (a variant of "人") meaning "person" and "也" meaning "other" (i.e. "another person, neither me nor you"). Under European influence, the character "她" was invented, to mean "she" ("女"=female + "也"=other). Therefore, "他" more and more acquired the gender-specific meaning "he", with the consequence that nowadays neither "他" nor "她" are perceived as gender-neutral. Another written form of tā is "它" meaning "it," but this can be derogatory, so only use it for a person with their permission. Similarly, tā 牠 is a pronoun "used for non-human animals", [10] and tā 祂 is usually used for gods.

As the logical gender-neutral character is "他" ("亻" meaning "person"), one solution would be to use a character composed of "男"("male") and "也" to mean "he", which would make it evident that "他" used in the same text can only be meant in a gender-neutral way. However, as Unicode does not provide "男"+"也" as a single character, this is currently only possible in handwriting.

Some people simply write "TA" with Latin letters ("TA是我的朋友。"). The same can be done in Bopomofo ("ㄊㄚ是我的朋友。").

Gender-neutral pronouns in Cantonese (广州话) include:

keúih/keoi5 佢 meaning "them/him/her/it"

Ancient Chinese texts use more pronouns that are not gender specific to refer to other people, for example bǐ/bi3 彼 , qí/qi2 其 , and zhī/zhi1 之. Among the less used are the pronouns qú/qu2 渠 and jué/jue2 厥, which are not gender specific either. Despite the word 她 being reappropriated as a feminine pronoun by Liu Bannong in his poems, Ancient Chinese people also used a pronoun that is feminine called yī/yi1 伊, exemplified in Lu Xun's works. However, some Ancient Chinese scholars argue that due to the difference of modern and ancient Chinese grammar, the use of these words as pronouns might not be the same as contemporary pronouns.

Gender-neutral ways of referring to others in Chinese language (中文) include:

na4ge4ren2 (traditional: 那個人) (simplified: 那个人) means "that person."[10]

zhe4ge4ren2 (traditional: 這個人) (simplified: 这个人) means "this person."[10]

Czech neutral pronounsEdit

Gender-neutral pronouns in Czech language (čeština) include:

onikání, "which was used in the past as gender-neutral pronoun when refering to someone of lesser status. it’s oni/je/jejich/se they/them/their/themself and the use is: Oni jsou moc milým člověkem. - They are a very nice person."[10]

Danish neutral pronounsEdit

Gender-neutral pronouns in Danish language (Dansk) include:

de, dem, deres[10]

hen, hen, hens[10] (neopronoun - the variants hæn and høn are equally proposed.)[11] [12]

Dutch neutral pronounsEdit

Gender-neutral pronouns in Dutch language (Nederlands) include:

hen, hen, hun [13]

die, hen, hun [13]

ze, hun, ze "note: literal translation of they, but ze is often used as 'she'"[10]

zij, hen, hun[10]

‘’’Die, hen, hun’’’is also often used with die being a translation of who or another way of using a Dutch version of they [10]

Dutch has three grammatical genders, masculine, feminine and neuter, but most forms are identical for masculine and feminine (while often opposed to neuter). This makes avoidance strategies attractive. E.g. while the third person singular personal pronoun is differentiated between feminine ("zij") and masculine ("hij"), the demonstrative pronoun is identical for these two genders ("die") and can often be used instead.

In 2016 Transgender Netwerk Nederland held a poll, in which hen, hen, hun or die, hen, hun were chosen as gender neutral pronouns.[13]

English neutral pronounsEdit

See also: gender neutral language - English, and glossary of English gender and sex terminology

This section has its own page: English neutral pronouns.

Esperanto neutral pronounsEdit

Normally, Esperanto doesn't have any neutral pronouns for people, only female or male. Some proposed grammatical reforms suggest adding a neutral pronoun. The problem with reforms is that the mean that, since you're not speaking dictionary Esperanto, many speakers won't understand you. Esperanto is supposed to be so uniform that everyone speaks it the same and can understand it. For more information about this issue, see Wikipedia's article gender reform in Esperanto.

Some proposed gender-neutral pronouns in non-standard Esperanto include:

gi. "A popular proposal because it is iconic: in writing, it resembles ĝi, which it also resembles in meaning, and it is similar to the occasionally epicene prefix ge-. This makes it readily recognizable. Also along these lines is the use of the epicene prefix itself, geli."[14]

hi. Proposed "so that the gendered pronouns hi and ŝi both derive from English."[14]

li. A common proposed neutral pronoun that is "related to the epicene plural ili 'they'".[14]

ri. "Riist Esperanto," or "Riisim," is a grammatical reform to Esperanto that makes the language more gender-neutral in several ways. One of these changes is to replace the gendered pronouns entirely with the neutral pronoun ri. This was popular for some time for the Esperanto community on the Internet in the 1990s.[14]

ŝli (sxli). "Instantly recognizable to most Esperantists ... This is just the reading pronunciation of the abbreviation ŝ/li, the equivalent of English "s/he", and is not infrequently seen in informal writing."[14]

Estonian neutral pronounsEdit

Estonian has no grammatical gender. There are no pronouns to specifically mean "she" or "he". Only the genderless pronoun tema/ta is used.

tema, teda, tema. Long form, primarily used with stressed syllables.[10]

ta, teda, ta. Short form, primarily used with unstressed syllables.[10]

Finnish neutral pronounsEdit

The Finnish language (suomen kieli) doesn't have grammatical gender. There are no pronouns that specifically mean "she" or "he". Everyone is called by the genderless pronoun hän.

hän, hänen. Formal.[10]

se, sen. Means "it." Informal but used a lot in slang.[10]

French neutral pronounsEdit

In French, talking about one's self or another person in a gender-neutral way requires using created pronouns since the language only have two genders (feminine and masculine). These pronouns are not used officially, but are more and more used in gender-inclusive texts and spaces, along with gender-inclusive grammar rules for adjectives.

ile. A mix of the French words "il" ("he") and "elle" ("she"). Some nonbinary people in France go by this pronoun. In 2015, an intersex adult in Tours won the right to change their birth certificate to say "gender neutral". The news mentioned that this person went by "ile" pronouns.[15]

ille, illes A mix between "il" ("he") and "elle" ("she") that can be used in a written text but that can not be easily said out loud.[16]

iel, iels. A mix between "il" ("he") and "elle" ("she") that can be easily said out loud;[16] "li" is proposed as singular direct object form (the plural object forms and the indirect object forms are neutral anyhow). Iel is often used as a translation of english "they" both for nonbinary people and to refer as someone without referring to their gender

yel. A mix between "il" ("he") and "elle" ("she") that can be easily said out loud (for object forms, see "iel, iels").[16]

el, els. A mix between "il" ("he") and "elle" ("she") but that can't be used out loud since it would sound exactly like the feminine pronoun "elle".[16]

yol. [16]

ol, ols. [16]

ul, uls. [16]

oulle, oulles Based on "ou" and ille/elle (Source unknown, unfortunately)

æl, æls.

ael, aels.

German neutral pronounsEdit

People have proposed and are using these neutral pronouns in the German language (Deutsch):

Solutions without neopronounsEdit

er*.[10] he*.

er + feminine noun endings.[17]

es. This means "it," and isn't usually used for people. Only use this pronoun for people who ask to be called by it. Some nonbinary people do reclaim it for themselves.[10][18]

sie. When this pronoun is used for a single person, it usually means "she." However, it also means "plural they," so some people use it as a neutral pronoun.[18]

sie*.[10] she*.

sie + masculine noun endings.[17]

Using only the name instead of a pronoun.[17]

Alternating between he and she.


Example usage of "dey" pronoun.

A.[19] First mention by a person whose name starts with A.

as.[17] Based on es (it), vowel changed to mark difference between things and people.

dey.[20] Based on they, changed to be more easily pronounceable in German.

dier/dies/diem/dien.[21] Relative pronoun set based on dier (pronounced [di:ɐ̯]), an alternative to die and der.


er_sie[10], ersie, er:sie, er*sie.[17] From er (he) and sie (she).

hän/sires/sim/sin.[22] used as a replacement for er/sie

hen.[17] borrowed from Swedish/Norwegian[23]

iks.[17] Version of x.

k.[24] inplace of she/he said you say k said "k hat gesagt"


per.[26] used the same as er/sie

sh'he/hi'er Gendered neopronoun that is both masculine and feminine and derived from contractions of she/her and he/him as a gendered alternative to explicitly gender neutral and nongendered neopronouns for multigender people [27]


sif/sis/sim/sin.[29] a compound pronoun used like er/sie

they.[30] Used just like in English.

x.[10] Has been criticised for being racist when used by white people.[31]

xier/xieser/xiem/xien.[32] Personal pronoun set based on xier (pronounced [ksi:ɐ̯]), an alternative to er and sie. And xies can be used as the base to matching possesive pronouns, that are declensed with endings you would use for sein and ihr, xies/xiese/xieses/xiesem/xiesen

z, zet.[33] replacement for er/sie

For examples of how to use many of these, go here.

Icelandic neutral pronounsEdit

Icelandic has three grammatical genders, feminine, masculine and neuter. In the plural, it is colloquial to use the neuter for a mixed-gender group of people or for people of unknown gender.

For the singular, the third-person pronoun "hán" has been proposed, (genitive "háns", dative "háni", accusative "hán").[34]

Italian neutral pronounsEdit

Italian is a very binary language, with two grammatical genders, masculine and feminine. In writing, signs like * or @ or the letter x are sometimes used where the feminine has "a" and the masculine has "o", although no specific pronunciation is linked to them. Some people use "u" when speaking in these cases, others the dialectal ending "ə" (as there is no standard spelling linked to this sound, "@" might sometimes be used to represent this pronunciation). This applies to a lot of words, such as nouns, adjectives and to a lesser degree articles. There seems to be no clear solution for plural forms.[35] [36]

This usage can be applied to some third person pronouns, e.g. the object forms "lo" and "la" may in this way be replaced by "lu" or "l@". The subject forms "egli" and "ella" are already less evident, but "elu"/"el@" is thinkable. The third person plural "loro" is gender-neutral and can be used as subject and as direct object (It is sometimes proposed to use this as singular as well, a translation of the English singular they). However, there is as yet no full table of proposed neo-pronouns.

Polish neutral pronounsEdit

See the page Gender neutral language in Polish.

Portuguese neutral pronounsEdit

See also: and glossary of Portuguese gender and sex terminology.

The Portuguese language (português) doesn't normally have neutral pronouns and indicates gender by letters in pronouns, ela (she) and ele (he). However, people have created some new, neutral pronouns, which are used in some groups. These include:

el@, del@, nel@. This uses an @ (at symbol) to show ambiguity of the letter. This only works in writing.

elx, delx, nelx. This uses an x to show ambiguity of the letter.[37]

elu, delu, nelu. This uses an u to show ambiguity of the letter. It's the most recommended to be used to include visually disabled people. This pronoun has some variations in its writing and pronunciation: êlu, dêlu, nêlu; élu, délu, nélu. [37]

el, del, nel. This isn't gender specific as it doesn't indicate any gender by the absence of a gendered letter.[37]

éli, déli, néli. This has a similar pronunciation as the male pronoun ele, but shows ambiguity by the use of i. And as the above, it also has variations: eli, deli, neli.[37]

íli, díli, níli. This shows ambiguity by the letter i. Some variations can be found: ílu, dílu, nílu; ílo, dílo, nílo; ile, dile, nile; ilo, dilo, nilo.[37][38]

ély, dély, nély. As the pronoun éli, déli, its pronunciation is very simillar to ele. Some variations are: ely, dely, nely; élw, délw, nélw.[37]

els, dels, nels. This shows ambiguity by the usage of s instead of a gendered letter.[37]

el', del', nel'. Demonstrates neutrality by the usage of '.[37]

eld, deld, neld. This show ambiguity by the usage of d.[37]

yn, dyn, nyn. This pronoun is very different and doesn't follow the structure of "el_, del_, nel_". [37]

éle, déle, néle. This pronoun follows the Spanish elle pattern, drawing a line between é from éla and -e from ele.[39]

elae, delae, nelae. This combines ela with ele.[40][41]

Spanish neutral pronounsEdit

See also: gender neutral language - Spanish and glossary of Spanish gender and sex terminology.

The Spanish language (español) doesn't normally have neutral pronouns. However, people have created some new, neutral pronouns, which are used in some groups that are sensitive about LGBT, feminist, and social justice issues. Most of these neutral pronouns work by taking the feminine pronoun, ella, and the standard abstract neuter pronoun ello (which can't be used for people), and substituting a different letter or symbol for the masculine "o" or feminine "a" ending. This approach of substituting a letter is shared by creating other parts of gender neutral language in Spanish, such as neutral-gender endings for adjectives. See gender neutral language - Spanish for information about that. These new, neutral pronouns include:

ele. A neutral pronoun that is a mix of the masculine pronoun él ("he") and a proposed gender-neutral ending letter, -e. This is less common. The plural would be elles.[42]

ell_. A neutral pronoun that can't be said out loud. This is less common. The _ (underscore) means that the "a" or "o" is left out.[10]

ell*. A neutral pronoun that can't be said out loud. This is less common. The * (asterisk) means that the "a" or "o" is left out. Compare the splat *e pronouns in English, which work by the same idea.[10]

ellæ. A neutral pronoun. This is less common.[10]

ell@. A neutral pronoun that can't be said out loud, or else is pronounced like "ellao". This is non-standard, but one of the most common of these. The @ (at symbol) is meant to be seen as a mix between an "a" and an "o".[10]

elle. A neutral pronoun that can be easily said out loud. This is non-standard, but one of the most common of these.[10] It's used by nonbinary people in Chile.[43]

elli. A neutral pronoun that can be said out loud. It's uncommonly used.[10]

ellu. A neutral pronoun that can be said out loud. It's uncommonly used.[10]

ello. A neutral pronoun that can be easily said out loud. It's uncommonly used[10] and it's considered rude, since it's the pronoun used for things (similar to English 'it').

ellx. A neutral pronoun that can't be said out loud. This non-standard, but one of the more common of these. Note that, unlike English coinages such as "princex," which is only for people of color, a neutral x in Spanish is not only for people of color. "Ellx" can be used by white people as well.[10]

ol. A neutral pronoun. Non-standard and uncommon. The plural would be olles. This would go with the non-standard definite article that is also ol.[42]

Swedish neutral pronounsEdit

Visual illustration of the two gendered personal pronouns in Swedish, hon ("she") and han ("he"), alongside the gender-neutral hen.

In 2014, the Swedish language (Svenska) officially added a new gender-neutral pronoun, hen, which is popular among Swedish-speaking nonbinary people.

de, dem (dom), deras.[10]

den, den, dens (dess). Means 'it'. This isn't usually used for humans.[10] Traditionally, the word den has been used as a gender neutral pronoun and remains widely used today. However, depending on the context, the word den can also mean "it," leaving it unsatisfactory as a gender neutral pronoun for many who do not wish to be seen as like an inanimate object.

hen, hen (henom), hens (henoms). This neutral pronoun was first proposed in 1966. Since the 1960s, the person pronoun hen has become increasingly popular. It was proposed independently in 1994, based on the Finnish neutral pronoun hän. It came to be used in magazines and books during the 2000s and 2010s. In 2014, it was officially added to the language. In 2015, it will be added for the first time to Svenska Akademiens Ordlista (the Swedish equivalent to France's Dictionnaire de l'Académie française). It usage, however, remains somewhat controversial and is vigorously opposed by some. Hen is used for people whose gender is not known, as well as for nonbinary people who ask to be called by this pronoun. It's not meant to replace the gendered pronouns hon ("she") and han ("he"), but to exist together with them. For more information, see the Wikipedia entry on hen.

Standard gender neutral / third gender personal pronoun: hen

Possessive form of hen: hens

Object form of hen: henom. The object form of hen is sometimes just hen. It is very individual.

West Frisian neutral pronounsEdit

Some neutral pronouns in West Frisian language (Frysk) include:

je, jin, jins.[44] These pronouns do exist as indefinite pronouns, though their use for referring to a specific person isn't very common.

See alsoEdit

External LinksEdit

See also a blog post about this topic on our Tumblr.


  1. This quote is a snippet from an answer to the survey conducted in the year 2018. Note for editors: the text of the quote, as well as the name, age and gender identity of its author shouldn't be changed.
  2. Kate Bornstein [@katebornstein] (2016-01-26). "Thanks for asking, @msmacb. I like they/them. She/her are also okay—makes me smile. xox" – via Twitter.
  3. "Eddie Izzard to use the pronouns 'she' and 'her'". the Guardian. 2020-12-21. Retrieved 2021-02-10.
  4. "Kate Tempest announces they are non-binary, changes name to Kae". the Guardian. 2020-08-06. Retrieved 2021-02-10.
  5. Minnie Bruce Pratt, "Transgender Pioneer and Stone Butch Blues Author Leslie Feinberg Has Died." Advocate. November 17, 2014.
  6. Nonbinary Stats 2015 (Worldwide) - the results, published 20 Feb 2015
  7. NB/GQ Survey 2016 - the worldwide results, published 20 Feb 2015
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