|“||We must remember that the English pronoun system is not fixed. Several centuries ago the objective plural you drove the nominative and objective singulars thou and thee and the nominative plural ye out of general use. It appears to have happened for social reasons, not linguistic reasons. They, their, them have been used continuously for six centuries, and have been disparaged in such use for about two centuries.|
|— —Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of English Usage, 1994|
Nounself pronouns are a subset of neopronouns that are more directly based on words, often nouns, to create pronouns like budself or pupself.
It is unclear where the word "nounself" itself was first coined, although it may be on Tumblr because of the amount of popularity that nounself sets gained, starting in 2015.
The earliest example of what could be called a nounself pronoun was proposed by by American lawyer Charles Crozat Converse in 1884. Converse took the words "this one" and "that one" and proposed thon as a gender-neutral pronoun set.
|“||thon. Pronoun of the 3rd person, common gender, meaning “that one, he she, or it”: a neoterism proposed by Charles Crozat Converse, and apparently complying with the neoteristic canons, since it supplies an antecedent blank, obeys a simple and obvious analogy, and is euphonious.|
|— —Funk and Wagnalls, Supplement to A Standard Dictionary of the English Language, 1903, https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/third-person-gender-neutral-pronoun-thon|
For most of the 20th century, thon appeared in various publications of Funk and Wagnalls, and also spread to another dictionary, Merriam-Webster’s Second New International Dictionary (1934 edition). Thon was removed from abridged dictionary in the third edition.
Often called humanist pronouns, hu/hum/hus/hus/humself was used in several college humanities texts published by Bandanna Books and originated by editor Sasha Newborn in 1982.
Faeself And Others
One of the most commonly recognized nounself pronoun sets is fae/faer, first seen online in 2013.
Why did I choose fae/faer as my pronouns?
Because I am fae. I am described as such by people who don’t know me — fae and feline and not-exactly-human. I do identify as faen, and in some ways angel as well, and fae and angel are the goals of my presentation. My choice of fae as a pronoun reflects this.
Using fae as a pronoun started out half a joke, a 1am offhand comment that fae would be one of the only things I could use as a pronoun and identify with. The next morning, it wasn’t so much a joke anymore, and by the end of the day my girlfriend and I had come up with how fae would work as a pronoun.
To address the point about fae as binary or not — it depends on your source material. My personal view on this is that fae and fae creatures as stand outside the binary. They probably have some form of gender, but it’s most definitely not our human binary. Angels, on the other hand, are genderless. They have no sex and they have no gender. Together, fae and angels are the two sides of androgyny that are possible, and kind of form a secondary arc around the male/female binary: that of gendered/genderless.
…so in some ways, I’m using fae as a giant ‘fuck you’ to the gender binary and a refusal of much of the American culture surrounding gender. My gender is yes. Except when it’s no. Either way, it’s not male or female and using a pronoun that is very associated with creatures that stand outside humankind is, for me at least, a very good way to remind people of this constantly.
In 2015, the Tumblr blog pronoun-provider opened up shop, and offered a place for various anonymous users to offer new nounself pronoun sets. The blog remained semi-active until 2019, but still has a large list of pronouns available to this day (now outdated, as the Wiki's own list has all of them and more).
Also in 2015, Tumblr blog pronouns-archive began posting guides for using various sets of pronouns. It became the first (recorded) posting of many nounself sets, including willowself, starself, beeself and various gem-based pronouns. The blog became inactive permanently in 2020.
See main article: Misgendering
Using the incorrect pronouns for someone when you are aware of their pronouns is misgendering. Misgendering is an act of erasure and transphobia, which has been linked to mental health struggles and suicide. The U.S. Transgender Survey states that 54% of those living with unsupportive families, where their family members may misgender them, had attempted suicide within their lifetime. 37% of those with supportive families had attempted suicide at some point of their lives.
|“||Because names and pronouns are the two ways people call and refer to others, they are personal and important. They are also key facets of our identity. Therefore, calling someone by the wrong name or “misgendering” them by using incorrect pronouns can feel disrespectful, harmful and even unsafe.|
|— Let’s Get It Right: Using Correct Pronouns and Names, ADL.org|
|“||According to the World Health Organization, violence is referred to as “the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, that either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment, or deprivation.”
When someone intentionally misgenders a transgender person, it can be noted as psychological abuse. Misgendering is dehumanizing; when you purposefully disregard someone’s gender, simply because they are not like you, it can lead to mental and physical harm.
|— Intentionally Misgendering Transgender People is Considered Violence, http://affinitymagazine.us/2017/04/17/intentionally-misgendering-transgender-people-is-considered-violence/|
- It is a common claim (usually of Exclusionist groups) that neopronouns, especially nounself pronouns, are a new invention. However, this is untrue and ahistorical.
- Another common claim is that using fae/faer or similar pronouns is cultural appropriate against Pagans/Celtrics; However these aren't the only cultures that have fae, the original coiner identified as a fae faerself, and Celts and Pagans are statistically more likely to feel actively good about someone’s fae/faer pronouns, even when that person is not a Celt/Pagan.
- 25% of LGBTQ youth use they/them exclusively, a combination of he/him, she/her, or they/them, or neopronouns such as ze/zir or fae/faer.
- In the 2019 Gender Census, 18 (0.2%) people said that they were happy to be referred to by thon.
Like other parts of a person's identity, like their gender or orientation (or even their kink or disability), flags may be made specifically for pronouns. Unlike other facets of queer identity, pronoun flags at large don't follow any real common convention. Flags for pronouns vary wildly in design, number of stripes, and symbols used. A pronoun flag format called "pronoun path" is used by Tumblr user mothpride. This refers to a specific design of flag that uses two overlapping stripes, with each flag being unaligned with any identity, just pronouns. The first example of this format being used was posted November 10th, 2020, and the term "pronoun path" was first used in another post the same day.
In June of 2021, Ezgender designed a proposed "standard pronoun template" and released a free online template for it. Ze later revised the format, adding additional stripes, and then released a template for that version on July 24th, 2021.
- Nounself Pronouns (2).png
A nounself pronouns pride flag, designed by uncommongenders.
- Nounself Pronouns (1).png
A nounself pronouns pride flag.
- Thon pronouns in dictionary.jpeg
List Of Nounself Pronouns
See main article: Pronoun/List