List of 100+ Gender Neutral Terms for Beginners

We are encountering a problem: The majority of languages were developed with the gender binary in mind. As the public grows more aware of gender identities that don’t strictly fit under “man” or “woman,” this problem is growing. Gender-neutral terminology that can be used to refer to non-binary individuals or to discuss persons without mentioning their gender are emerging as a solution to this issue. These also enable us to speak about other people in a less gendered manner when necessary, such as when we want to address a group in a way that makes everyone feel included or when discussing someone’s spouse when their gender isn’t known.

When we look up ‘gender-neutral’ in a dictionary we get the following definitions:

  • noting or relating to a word or phrase that does not refer to one gender only
  • using words whenever appropriate that are free of reference to gender
  • relating to, intended for, or common to any gender
  • noting or relating to a person of neutral gender, neither male nor female

What is the concept of gender neutrality?

Gender-neutral refers to something that is not connected to either women or men. It could be referring to a number of things, including ideas or linguistic nuances.

The concept of gender neutrality holds that laws, language, and other social institutions (such as gender roles or social structures) shouldn’t make distinctions between different roles based on people’s sex or gender. This is done to prevent discrimination brought on by the idea that one gender is more suited for certain social responsibilities than another. The lack of gender equality throughout history has had a big effect on parenting practices, toys, marketing, and many other facets of society. In recent years, there has been a cultural focus on using inclusive language and promoting equality in order to increase gender neutrality.

Gender-neutral language

A style of linguistic prescriptivism known as gender-neutral language, gender-inclusive language, inclusive language, or gender neutrality tries to eliminate (or neutralise) references to gender in phrases that describe persons. This may entail discouraging the use of gender-specific occupational titles like “policeman/policewoman,” “fireman,” “stewardess,” and “chairman,” in favour of, allegedly, equivalent gender-neutral words like “police officer,” “firefighter,” “flight attendant,” and “chairperson” (or chair). Other phrases that are gender-specific, such as actor and actress, could be changed to the originally male term (actor used for either gender).

Gender-neutral language is used to avoid using words that could be construed as biased, degrading, or discriminatory by implying that one sex or social gender is the norm. Additionally, using language that is gender-neutral and inclusive encourages societal transformation, lessens gender stereotyping, and advances gender equality.

List of Gender Neutral Words

Given below is a list of commonly used gender-neutral words or terms:

1. Gender-neutral terms of endearment:

  • Dear
  • Sweetie
  • Cutie
  • Lovebug
  • Bestie
  • Love
  • Babe
  • Beloved
  • My world
  • Sweetheart
  • Darling
  • Honey
  • Precious

2. Gender-neutral terms for a partner:

  • My person
  • Partner
  • Datefriend
  • Datemate
  • Boo
  • Lover
  • My significant other
  • Date
  • Soulmate
  • Bethrothed
  • Other half

3. Gender-neutral terms for friends: 

  • Friend
  • Buddy
  • Mate

4. Gender-neutral family terms: 

  • Grandchild (instead of grandson or granddaughter)
  • Grandparent (instead of grandfather or grandmother)
  • Godparent (instead of godfather or godmother)
  • Godchild or godkid (instead of goddaughter or godson)
  • Spouse (instead of husband or wife)
  • Parent (instead of mom or dad)
  • Child (instead of son or daughter)
  • Oldest
  • Youngest
  • Progeny
  • Guardian
  • Nibling (instead of niece or nephew)
  • Pibling (instead of aunt or uncle)
  • Ward

5. Gender-neutral sibling terms: 

  • Sibling (instead of brother or sister)
  • Sib
  • Cousin

6. Gender-neutral terms for groups: 

  • Humankind or people (instead of mankind)
  • People (instead of men)
  • Folks
  • Colleagues
  • Comrades
  • Team
  • Pals
  • Pack
  • Peers
  • Peeps
  • Associates
  • Confidants
  • band
  • Lot
  • Gentlepeople (instead of gentlemen)
  • Gang
  • Companions
  • Crowd
  • Squad
  • Crew
  • Clan
  • Members of congress (instead of congressmen)

7. Formal gender-neutral terms: 

  • Attractive or good-looking (instead of handsome or beautiful)
  • Synthetic or human-made (instead of manmade)
  • Citizen
  • Monarch
  • Sovereign
  • Heir
  • Ruler
  • Almighty (instead of god or goddess)
  • Creator (instead of god or goddess)
  • Divine (instead of god or goddess)
  • Higher Power (instead of god or goddess)
  • Wedding usher (instead of bridesmaid or groomsman)
  • Staffed (instead of manned)

8. Gender-neutral terms for students: 

  • First-year student (instead of freshman)
  • Upper-level student (instead of upperclassmen)

9. Gender-neutral terms for a person: 

  • Person
  • Being
  • Adult (instead of woman or man)
  • Kiddo (instead of boy or girl)
  • Gentlebeing
  • Gentleperson
  • Grownup
  • Human
  • Human being

10. Fun gender-neutral terms: 

  • Zaza (queer based on mama and papa)
  • Zither (queer bases on mother and father)
  • Sprog (Crude word for a young person)
  • Snazzy (a playful term for handsome or beautiful)
  • Earthlings (as a greeting “Hey earthlings!”)

11. Gender-neutral terms for the workplace:

  • Business person (instead of businessman or businesswoman)
  • Chairperson (instead of chairman or chairwoman)
  • Crewperson (instead of crewman or crewwoman)
  • Foreperson (instead of foreman)
  • Layperson (instead of layman)
  • Mail carrier or mail person (instead of mailman or mailwoman)
  • Police officer (instead of policeman or policewoman)
  • Server (instead of waiter or waitress)
  • Table attendant
  • Client
  • Patient
  • Applicant
  • Care provider
  • Employee
  • Firefighter (instead of fireman or firewoman)
  • Camera person (instead of cameraman or camerawoman)
  • Flight attendant (instead of steward or stewardess)
  • Bartender (instead of barman or barmaid)
  • Stunt person (instead of stuntman or stuntwoman)
  • Headteacher (instead of headmistress or headmaster)
  • Salesperson or sales representative (instead of salesman or saleswoman)
  • Mayor
  • Manager
  • Technician
  • President
  • Prime minister
  • Professor


It can be difficult to deal with gendered allusions in your work because there isn’t (and probably never will be) a set of generally accepted, specific rules on which to base your choices. But you can “mix and match” a variety of various tactics as needed.

Imagine a diverse set of readers for your article or essay as a possible test for gender-inclusive language. Would readers feel honoured? Every writing situation calls for the ability to envision your audience, and rewriting with an emphasis on gendered language is the ideal opportunity to put this ability into practice.

It will take some work to get past a binary view of gender. There is an understanding that two or more English speakers will communicate using the same code, which is English. And there is no communication if one of them refuses to use that code. We must all agree to speak in a way that acknowledges the fact that not everyone identifies as male or female.

Quick Links

  1. Examples of Neuter Gender Nouns in English
  2. 100+ Masculine and Feminine Gender Words