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 still make sense if the story included female characters involved with The Brotherhood? EDIT: I will try to clarify: … Read more

Is using the word person in “person’s wife” a recent phenomenon?

I came across a language textbook talking about the wife of a “person”, rather than of a “man”: okusan: (another person’s) wife On a following page, it defined “goshuujin” as “(another person’s) husband”, rather than “(another woman’s) husband”. Is using the gender neutral word “person” followed by a gender specific spouse a recent phenomenon, or … Read more

Is “human-made” an appropriate, non-gendered alternative to “man-made”?

Surprisingly, this word returns very few “meaningful” results on Google (like texts, blog posts, articles, etc) using it. It seems to be a new word. Yet, the OED gives no hits. Is this an appropriate non-gendered alternative to man-made? For instance, Poverty is a human-made phenomenon. Since it still contains the word “man”, some might … Read more

Is “laic” an alternative word to the word “layperson”?

Can laic be used interchangeably with layperson as a gender-neutral alternative to layman and laywoman? Example 1 The site is more suitable for the laics. vs The site is more suitable for laypersons. Example 2 Laics are not allowed here. vs Laypersons are not allowed here. Example 3 I am a laic to this subject. … Read more

Pronunciation of “xe” and “xyr”

I’ve been reading a book that includes extraterrestrials that shift from female to male during the course of their lives. During the transition phase, the other characters in the book use the neutral pronouns “xe” and “xyr” to refer to them. What would be an appropriate pronunciation for these? Answer Xe is more like /zi/ … Read more

Is there a gender-neutral term for ‘Godly’?

The term godly is used numerous times in gaming. However, god refers to male supernatural beings. Goddess refers to a female supernatural being, AKA a female god. So, is there a gender-neutral term for godly? Perhaps some word could refer to a gender-neutral term for godly, such as goddessly? Or perhaps, god-like? This term must … Read more

Is there a way to determine how offensive a word is?

Outside of slang, I’m looking for a list of words that have been co-opted by society to mean something derogatory. In some senses, they are also “trigger words” and phrases. The word cult, for example, is offensive to some, however it is the scientific word used to describe the initial stages of a formation of … Read more

What is the true gender-neutral equivalent of “man”?

Man is a social animal. This sentence is understandable, but has two problems: The gender-neutral use of man is nowadays often seen as sexist. The phrasing seems archaic. Let’s ignore the second problem and try to fix only the first: *Human is a social animal. This is just wrong. But why? It’s exactly the same … Read more

Gender Usage of Confidant vs Confidante

After reading an article in which it was stated that Che Guevara became a confidante of Fidel Castro, I am now very confused about the proper usage of the words confidante and confidant. Every definition I can find of “confidante” says that it is mainly used for a female friend with whom you share personal … Read more