Rockin’ Gender-Neutral Words Instead of Girls or Boys

By Ellie Felderman

Hello there everybody! Happy Valentine’s day 🙂

We all know that with Valentine’s day comes a significant amount of gendering. So much of relationship advertising is strictly boys & girls, men & women, boyfriends & girlfriends. If you don’t know what gendering is, that’s okay! It’s assigning or assuming genders: like the stereotypes that makeup is girly or that football is masculine. We all know the world isn’t like that!

In an effort to combat this and to provide everybody with more options, I decided to whip up a whole nice list of gender-neutral words that we can all use instead of boys & girls or men & women, because who couldn’t use a little more inclusivity?


Guys, gals, and non-binary pals

This is my personal favorite, as well as the intro to 9/10 Spectrum emails that I send. I love how it rhymes, because who couldn’t use a nice lil rhyme?


A classic. Friends both keeps it casual and implies that you’re all friends, which is nice. It’s also very age-flexible, seeing as my mother uses it with both her kindergarten students and adult friends.


Not to be too radical here, but you can use team even if you aren’t referring to a team you’re on. Mind blowing, right?


More appropriate for teachers, but who knows? Maybe you, a student, are teaching someone something and want to refer to them as such.


Or bud! Which implies that they’re a flower, which is always nice.


Not exclusive to California surfer bros, for dude is just a nice, general address. Or, just throw a bro in there.


We could all use a little more y’all in our lives! You can also diversify: we have y’all, all y’all, all y’all’s! Do the options ever end?


If you have any other wonderful ideas or additions, feel free to let me know! I always love expanding my gender-inclusive reservoir or words 🙂