What is a Neopronoun?

What is a Neopronoun?

Rowan Ogilvie, Co-Editor-in-Chief

We use pronouns every day. I just used one when I said “we” and again when I said “I”. However, those aren’t usually what we think of when somebody talks about pronouns. Typically, if somebody is talking about pronouns they’re talking about “he”, “she”, and “they”. So if we already have these three pronouns, why do we need more of them?

A neopronoun (literally “new pronoun”) is a pronoun that is not one of what we think of as our “normal” pronouns. Some are more common, like “it/itself” or “ze/zem/zers”, but a lot of them are fairly unique to the individuals who use them. Going back to the question I asked before, why do they exist? They exist because some people either don’t feel comfortable using binary pronouns and don’t like using “they/them” or just like using them more than our “normal pronouns”. Some people use them as a form of gender expression, and some people just plain think they’re cool. Neopronouns are mostly used by nonbinary individuals, but some people identify with either binary gender who use neopronouns. A neopronoun can be any word you want it to be, oftentimes chopped up to fit with different parts of grammar. People generally say that anything goes with neopronouns, but for the most part, avoid making slurs, races, ethnicities, or anything that might otherwise be offensive to groups of people into pronouns.

Great, we know what neopronouns are now, but how do we use them? Prepare for a little grammar lesson, and it’s going to sound complicated, but I promise using them is easier in practice than in theory. For these examples, I’m going to be using the three neopronouns that I’ve seen and think are cool, but there are so many different pronouns out there. Neopronouns are typically listed one of three ways, “rei/rainself”, “ki/koi/koiself”, and “ze/zeph/zer/zephyrs/zephself”. The last way is the only one that tells you all the information you need to properly use a pronoun, so it’s ideal to list them like that, but a lot of people use the first because it’s easier. The first pronoun listed, in this case, “ze”, “koi”, and “rei”, is subjective and it’s used like how we would use “she” or “he”. The second is objective and is used like “her” or “him”, for instance, “please talk to zeph”. The next two are the possessive determiner(zer eyes are blue) and the possessive pronoun(that is zephyrs). Finally, the last one is the reflexive pronoun(I hope ze are taking care of zephself). 

The world is changing, and people are becoming more accepted, and along with that comes personal learning and attaining the motivation to change ourselves to become more accepting of people. It’s important to remember that gender is a hard and complicated thing to deal with, and it can be a very emotional thing for some people so it’s always good to be respectful and mindful about people’s pronouns and gender expression, even if you don’t like that person.


A comprehensive list of most neopronouns: https://neoprns.carrd.co/ 

A good resource for learning more about pronouns: https://www.mypronouns.org/