We all know the common honorifics Mr., Mrs., Ms., and Miss. But these gendered honorifics pose a problem when someone has a gender outside of male or female. And sometimes we don’t know the gender of the person we’re addressing.
Enter the gender neutral honorific Mx. Today, we’re learning where it came from and how to use it correctly.
Mx. is a gender neutral title. Use it in place of Mr., Mrs., Ms., or Miss when you don’t know the gender of the person you’re addressing.
You can also use the honorific Mx. for people who identify as nonbinary, genderfluid, and gender non-conforming.
When you’re saying Mx. out loud, it’s pronounced “Mix.”
Many people don’t realize that Mx. is not a new honorific. It dates back to the 1970s at the height of the second-wave feminist movement.
The honorific Ms. became a way to introduce a woman regardless of her marital status around this time. But women still faced discrimination, especially in employment and business.
The title Mx. was proposed as a way to address someone without revealing their gender.
In recent years, Mx. has caught on with the gender expansive community. People who are not men or women can use Mx. as a gender neutral title. Some people prefer Mx. when they don’t want to be identified by their gender, even if they aren’t nonbinary or gender non-conforming.
Mx. is recognized by dictionaries like Oxford and Merriam-Webster, but it still hasn’t made its way into common usage. It’s rarely listed on official forms or government documents in the United States.
However, it’s becoming more popular in the UK. The Royal Bank of Scotland now offers Mx as an option on their paperwork.
It’s just beginning to catch on in mainstream English, and you can expect to see its usage grow in years to come. In the gender expansive community, Mx. is the most widely accepted gender neutral honorific.
Examples of Mx. in a Sentence
Let’s look at some examples of how you might use Mx. in your writing.
- Our mysterious benefactor is known only as Mx. P.
- Circle your title for your conference name badge: Mx. Mr. Mrs. Ms. Miss. Dr.
- Mx. Brooks teaches U.S. History and World History at my school.
- May I introduce Mx. Jamie Smith, our keynote speaker?
- I addressed the invitation to Mx. and Ms. Martinez.
How to Use Mx.
In American English, put a period after Mx. just as you would with titles such as Dr., Mrs., Ms., or Mr. However, in British English, you don’t place a period after any honorific.
Be consistent with punctuating titles in your writing. If you’re writing in American English, ProWritingAid can remind you if you miss a period after a title.
You can use Mx. to address someone when you don’t know their gender. It’s also a great way to be inclusive of the queer community if you are creating forms or surveys where people are required to select their honorific.