We are now living in an ever-expanding world and along with that our language is evolving, people are not identifying with the simple gendered pronouns of her and him anymore and so we as a society decided on a pronoun that would fit our nonbinary folks which were they/them. But that still wasn’t inclusive enough and people are starting to realise that she/he/they just doesn’t fit everybody, so what will? Well, that’s where neopronouns come in.
What is a Neopronoun?
A neopronoun literally means ‘new pronoun’ so is completely different to our concept of ‘normal’ pronouns. Neopronouns have been around before with words like it/itself or ze/zem/zers, but they are not narrowed to just a couple of uses, what makes neopronouns so unique is that you can use them or create them however seems comfortable for you and how you identify.
Some people use them to express their gender, and who are uneased by the binary but the beauty of neopronouns is that even people who identify with the binary (she/he) can use neopronouns to express themselves, there is no limit to gender, sex or identity when it comes to the neopronoun.
How Do You Use a Neopronoun?
Neopronouns can be any word that you like, so how you use them is completely up to you, many find a word that can be chopped and diced into different parts of our grammar. Using a neopronoun is all about how you want but a lot of people using them try to stay away from anything that is too ethnic related, race associated or slurs that could be seen as offensive.
Now how to use them can get quite confusing but here is a very simple breakdown to help you really understand neopronouns and how to use them correctly.
So let’s use three example neopronouns, so in this example, we will use rei/rainself, ki/koi/koiself and ze/zeph/zephyrs/zephself. But remember you can use whatever you want!
So with the first pronouns, rei/ki/ze are subjective pronouns, so they would be used how you use the traditional she or he. For example, to use your neopronoun you would say “rei really likes that movie”.
Then the second pronoun would be used how you would use the term her or him. Which are objective pronouns. For example, to use your neopronoun you would say “go and see zeph”.
Next is the possessive determiner and the possessive pronoun, and for these, you would use your neopronouns like this, for example, the determiner would be “zer arms are so muscley” and the possessive pronoun would be “don’t touch that, that’s zephyrs”.
A Summary on Neopronouns
New language, like any language, can be hard and difficult to learn and will take practice and determination to get right because our whole world is gendered and has been for many, many years so moving away from that and expanding our knowledge takes patience and time to get completely correct.
The general rule when it comes to any pronoun, not just neopronouns is to respect the person’s preferred pronouns and to always ask someone what their preferred pronouns are, so that you can practice to get them right and to be respectful to their choice of language. Think of it like this, you wouldn’t go to another country that doesn’t speak English at all and demand that they switch their language to yours because you don’t understand, it’s the same with people and pronouns, don’t make people fit your norm, adapt to theirs.
So have a play, do your research and see if neopronouns identify with you or not and if not, teach yourself how to be understanding if you do come across someone who does identify with neopronouns because it is time we normalise all pronouns.