The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is considering adding the gender neutral honorific ‘Mx’, to be included alongside Mr, Mrs, Ms or Miss, to represent transgender people and those who do not wish to identify their gender, for the first time.
The definition in the OED is the following:
“Mx (noun): a title used before a person’s surname or full name by those who wish to avoid specifying their gender or by those who prefer not to identify themselves as male or female.”
People will be able to use the word when their gender is unknown, they are transgender, or whenever someone does not wish to identify their gender.
According to the Sunday Times, the term has already been used by some government departments, councils, high street banks, universities, Royal Mail and driving licenses for a while in the UK.
Over the past two years the title has been quietly added to official forms and databases and is now being considered for inclusion in the next edition of the Oxford English Dictionary.
Jonathan Dent, assistant editor of the OED, said the title is the first new honorific to be accepted as an addition to the current set of gender identifiers. He also added: “This is an example of how the English language adapts to people’s needs, with people using language in ways that suit them rather than letting language dictate identity to them.”