I need a word that’s the gender-neutral…

I need a word that’s the gender-neutral equivalent of “guys”. It’s such a useful word, a casual reference to a group of people. I use it to start class, “OK guys, take your seats”, I use it to ask questions, “Can you guys answer something for me?”, I use it all the time.

Suggestions? I’ve tried “folks”, “people”, even “ya’ll”, but nothing works quite as well as “guys”.

8 thoughts on “I need a word that’s the gender-neutral…

  1. Daniel Semsen

    try “fools”. It worked for me in that Arranging I class…
    Like, “Hey fools, shut your MOUTHS. I’M TALKING.”


    This is probably why my evaluations were so outstanding.

  2. Rach

    I think it may already have a gender-neutral connotation in the context of a mixed gender direct address. I would feel addressed and included if I were in that class.

    Or you could Spanglish it and throw down “ustedes” every now and then.

  3. michael Post author

    See, I thought it had reached the point of general inclusion too, but a few female students pointed out to me that I use it all the time to refer to the whole class, and they think it’s similar to saying “men” when you really mean “people”.

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