Gender and problematic words 

  • Words containing man but including reference to women

    A few words that include reference to both men and women are intrinsically masculine, and can often be replaced with gender-neutral terms. These include mankind (humankind, humanity), manpower (staff), manmade (artificial) and the verb to man (to staff), Englishmen (the English) and Englishman (an English person).

  • Use of bachelor, master, alumni and fellow

    Although generally considered gender-neutral, bachelor, master, alumni and fellow have, or have had, gender-specific meanings. The word bachelor may also refer to a single man, and master can refer to a young man or a male teacher (feminine mistress). The Latin alumnus is properly masculine-only (fem. singular, alumna; masc. plural, alumni; fem. plural, alumnae). Meanwhile, fellow is sometimes considered to refer primarily to men. In present-day use, none of these words retain any real masculine connotations, and bachelor of science, master of arts, alumni and fellow are all perfectly applicable to both men and women. Nonetheless, you can often use more common terms: alumni can be replaced by graduates or former students; and fellow is often better expressed as colleague, peer or member of faculty.
Darrera actualització: 15-11-2017
Impressió del capítol | Impressió de la pàgina
Recommended citation:
«Gender and problematic words» [en línia]. A: Llibre d’estil de la Universitat de Barcelona. Barcelona: Universitat de Barcelona. Serveis Lingüístics. <> [consulta: 29 juny 2022].