Gender Wiki

Gendered language refers to any form of language which implies the gender identity of the person it is referring to. Using gendered language which does not match someone's gender identity is a form of misgendering.

Grammatical gender

In linguistics, grammatical gender is a specific form of noun class system in which the division of noun classes forms an agreement system with another aspect of the language, such as adjectives, articles, pronouns, or verbs. This system is used in approximately one quarter of the world's languages

How gender is expressed varies between language - Some languages are completely gender neutral. Some languages are heavily gendered. Some are a mix of gendered and non-gendered words.

In romance languages, such as Spanish or French, every noun is classified as masculine or feminine and other parts of speech such as pronouns, articles and adjectives, correspond with the grammatical gender of the noun. For example, in Spanish, la chica buena, means the good girl and el chico bueno means the good boy. The definite article the (el or la) and the adjective good (bueno or buena) changes based on the gender of the noun boy or girl. Grammatical gender also applies to objects, but the grammatical gender does not rely on human gender roles to decide on whether a noun is masculine or feminine. La silla (the chair) is always a feminine noun, regardless of whether the chair looks traditionally masculine or feminine. El vestido (the dress) is a masculine noun, even though dresses are traditionally considered feminine objects.

Other languages, like English, are not grammatically gendered, but gender still has an influence on certain words. Nouns referring to objects and items are not gendered, but certain nouns referring to humans, such as man, boy, woman, girl refer to a person's gender. Certain third-person pronouns are traditionally gendered, such as he and she. Articles and adjectives in English do not change based on gender. Using the example of The good girl or the good boy, the definite article the and the adjective good stay the same regardless of the gendered nouns girl or boy.

Many English words have a neutral form of masculine or feminine words, specifically in reference to professions, such as policeman, policewoman being gendered and police officer or police person being gender neutral. Typically, replacing the suffixes -man or -woman with the suffix -person is how one can make a gendered professional term not gendered. Non-binary people may use the suffix -enby. Other words can be made more specific, like server as a gender neutral term for waiter/waitress.

Typically gendered words in English and non-gendered alternatives.

Common nouns and terms for family members

Type of noun Specifically feminine Specifically masculine Gender neutral or non-binary alternatives
Minors girl, gal boy, guy, dude child, kid, teen, tween, toddler, infant, baby, person

(enby for non-binary people)

Adults woman, lady man, guy, dude adult, grownup, person

(enby for non-binary people)

Person of any age female male human being, person, somebody, someone
One's parent mother, mom father, dad parent
One's grandparent grandmother, grandma grandfather, grandpa grandparent
One's sibling sister, sis brother, bro sibling, sib
One's offspring daughter son child
The offspring of one's offspring granddaughter grandson grandchild
The sibling of one's parent aunt uncle no traditional gender neutral alternative

(Some terms like "auncle" or "untie/unty" are used for gender neutrality)

The offspring of one's sibling niece nephew nibling
Married partner wife husband spouse
Titles/Honorifics Mrs./Ms./Miss, Ma'am, Madame, Lady Mr., Sir, Gentleman Mx. (pronounced mix)

Friendships and romantic relationships

Type of noun Specifically feminine Specifically masculine Gender neutral or non-binary alternatives
Friendship gal pal, girl friend, friend who is a girl, homegirl boy friend, bro, bromance, lad, pal, friend who is a boy, main man, homeboy friend, pal, chum, mate, associate, comrade, best friend, BFF (best friend forever), homie, home slice
Romantic unmarried partner girlfriend boyfriend partner, significant other, S.O., soulmate, lover, sweetheart, date, sweetie, honey, babe, companion, life partner, paramour

(Some terms like enbyfriend, datemate, personfriend, datefriend, theyfriend are used for non-binary people specifically)

Partner to whom one is engaged fiancée fiancé betrothed, engaged partner, fiancé-e, fiancé(e)
Married partner wife husband spouse, life partner


Job or craft Specifically feminine Specifically masculine Gender neutral or non-binary alternatives
Bartending barmaid barman bartender
Business businesswoman businessman businessperson
religious titles priestess priest, clergyman clergy member, minister
spouse of a reigning monarch Queen Consort Prince Consort Consort
tending or ranching cattle cowboy cowgirl cowhand
religious deities a goddess a god a deity, a goddex, a higher power, a creator, a divine being
flight assistance stewardess steward flight attendant
fire fighting fireman firewoman firefighter
heroic person heroine hero heroix
equestrian horsewoman horseman horse rider
royalty/reigning/monarchy queen





monarch's hier; prinxe

noble ranks nobleman






aviation aviatrix aviator pilot
law enforcement policewoman policeman police officer, police person
restaurant serving waitress waiter server

Other terms

Type of noun Specifically feminine Specifically masculine Gender neutral or non-binary alternatives
a fanatic fanboy fangirl fan, fankid, fanenby, fanatic, superfan
wedding bride groom nearlywed, marrier, celebrant

(portmanteaus: gride, broom, bridegroom)

wedding bridesmaid groomsman wedding usher