The non-binary pride flag, designed by Kye Rowan in 2014. (Illustration: Kye Rowan/Wikimedia Commons)

Topics: Ethical Living | LGBTQ2

Merriam-Webster now lists ‘they’ as non-binary pronoun

The move comes a few days after pop star Sam Smith revealed they use the pronouns "they/them"

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The Merriam-Webster online dictionary now recognizes “they” as a personal pronoun.

The site tweeted Tuesday that it had added the pronoun to its online list of definitions for the word.

The dictionary now defines “they,” along with its other uses, as “used to refer to a single person whose gender identity is nonbinary.”

As the Oxford English Dictionary points out, the use of singular “they” has a long history, but its use as a pronoun by people who are non-binary or identify with neither male nor female pronouns is more recent.

One Twitter user thanked singer Sam Smith, who announced last week that they use “they/them” pronouns, for fuelling the move.

It’s unclear what motivated the dictionary to add the pronoun, but it’s a great step!

More on Broadview: How to be a better LGBTQ2 ally

Emma Prestwich is Broadview's digital editor.

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  • says:

    “used to refer to a single person whose gender identity is nonbinary.”

    The rare case where "science" backs up the Bible. All through the Bible is "male and female" (husband/wife), never is there a mention of a third gender. Yet theories and perceptions are trying to over rule common sense.