[Ads-l] Updated list of nonbinary pronouns / singular they

Baron, Dennis E debaron at ILLINOIS.EDU
Thu Dec 24 15:36:28 UTC 2015

Taking advantage of new digitized periodicals, I have updated my often-consulted online list of common gender, epicene, nonbinary, indeterminate pronouns, adding a lot of early, hitorical material with: comments on singular they (for and against) and calls for a new pronoun, going back to 1792, and new 19th-century coinages I hadn’t found before. Given the early discussions I’ve found (not just obscure sources, but even Samuel Taylor Coleridge talked about the need for a common gender pronoun), it’s likely that more will surface, and earlier sources will emerge.

Comments, updates, and corrections will be appreciated.

You can read the list here:


full url: http://www.english.illinois.edu/-people-/faculty/debaron/essays/epicene.htm

(And I apologize in advance for inconsitent fonts - an artifact of converting a long .docx to html. I will correct this when I have a chance.)



Dennis Baron
Professor of English and Linguistics
Department of English
University of Illinois
608 S. Wright St.
Urbana, IL 61801

English Dept: 217-333-2390
fax: 217-333-4321


read the Web of Language:

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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