Stef (firecat) wrote,

gender-neutral second-person plurals

I left this datapoint in [personal profile] selki's journal. (She said that the word "guy" isn't "some sort of modern gender-neutral salutation". Let me be clear that I completely respect this viewpoint.)
</i>"Guys" or "you guys" has a completely gender-neutral connotation to me...but only when used as a second-person plural pronoun, the same way people use "y'all" or "youse". It feels wrong to me to address or label a woman or girl as a "guy" or to say "Those guys over there" when referring to a mixed group or a group of women/girls. But I'll comfortably say "OK, you guys..." even to a group of all women.

This isn't modern; I've been doing it my whole life and I'm over 50. I grew up in Michigan; I wonder if this is a regional usage.

In contrast, "dude," "men," "mankind," and "he/him" have a male-only connotation to me, although I can hear other people use "dude" in a gender-neutral manner. (I can't do that with the other words.)
Thoughts? Datapoints?

I also use "y'all," "youse" (but they don't feel like "my language"; they feel like I'm stealing them from other people's language), "peeps," and "folks." ("Peeps" feels modern to me, and "folks" feels old-fashioned.)

This entry was originally posted at, where there are comment count unavailable comments. I prefer that you comment on Dreamwidth, but it's also OK to comment here.
Tags: curious, gender, language
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