Appendix B – Gender-Neutral Terms

The CMHR strives to use inclusive language and avoid gendered terms wherever possible. The following list provides examples of gender-neutral terms. For a more complete list, see Gender-Neutral Equivalent Words.

Instead of this… Use this…
actress actor
airline stewardess flight attendant
bride/groom spouse, partner, mate
brotherhood fellowship, camaraderie
brotherly kind, helpful
cameraman, camerawoman camera operator
chairman, chairwoman chair person, chair
clergy men, clergy women clergy, clerics, ministers, pastors, etc.
councilman council member
doorman doorkeeper, door attendant
Englishman Englander, Briton
fireman firefighter
forefathers ancestors, forebears
Frenchmen the French, French people
Handyman fixer, handy person, maintenance person
Headmaster principal
heroine hero
hostess host
housewife homemaker
jack-of-all-trades handyperson
journeyman experienced tradesperson
king-size huge, very large
layman layperson
maid house cleaner
maiden name family name, birth name
mailman letter carrier, mail carrier
male nurse nurse
man (verb: to man) operate, staff
mankind humankind, humanity
master plan main plan, primary plan
Miss Ms.
mother tongue first language, native language
no-man’s-land uninhabited land, neutral zone
old wives’ tale superstition
seamstress tailor, sewer, mender, needleworker
showmanship stage presence
spokesman, spokeswoman spokesperson
statesman leader, senior politician, diplomat
stewardess flight attendant
taskmaster supervisor, tyrant
waitress server
workman worker
yes-man avid follower, supporter