Listen up Gilys!

All right, I'm putting my mark in the sand, taking a stand, and declaring my opinion. Namely that the English language needs a word that applies to both women and men without any gender bias. I've heard it said that "guys" is now gender neutral but I'm not buying it. So here's what I propose:


Here's why. "Guy" starts with a g and uses the last of the 5 usual vowels. "Gal" starts with a g and uses the first vowel on the list. So to start off, let's take the average, which would be "i". So we've got gi. Fair is fair so we'll use the "y" from guy and the "l" from gal. Giving us "gily".  Pronounced with a hard "g" sound, just like in guy or gal. 

"He's quite a gily, isn't he?" "She's my kind of gily" "The best laid plans 'o mice and gilys gang aft agley."

Yep, totally works. Gily, gily, gily.

So just be sure to use it and give credit where credit is due for the new and improved, gender neutral way to encompass both men and women with the same mellifluous word. 

Thanks, gilys.


  • Mike Posted April 20, 2012 8:53 am

    The english language *already* has a perfectly acceptable gender-neutral pronoun: “their”.
    There’s been some recent attempts to claim that it’s not suitable for use in the singular (and you may well have been taught that), but historical usage is as either singular or plural.
    I’ve been using it for years, and the only time anyone objects is during discussion about using it as a gender-neutral pronoun.

  • Mike Posted April 20, 2012 8:53 am

    Whoops. For your case, use “people”.

  • Alex Posted April 20, 2012 9:46 am

    Umm, before you try to pursue this “new” term any further you really should look up the meanings of gilly/gillie. Well-intentioned effort, but bad execution on the word. Love your comics by the way, I check both sites every update.

    • Crow Posted April 20, 2012 9:48 am

      With my Scottish background I can assure you I’m well aware of every meaning of ghillie 🙂

      • Ie Yamof Ool Posted April 20, 2012 2:41 pm

        I think Alex is referring to the Australian gilly/ gillie (I’ve heard it used, but don’t know it’s meaning).

        • Alex Posted April 21, 2012 12:32 pm

          Well, actually sort of all of them, including the slang term used by Carnies as a term of derision for customers (or “the marks”).

  • Chakolate Posted April 20, 2012 6:57 pm

    A Haitian friend of mine told me that ‘gilly’ is what the prostitutes in the street call out to potential customers.

  • Kit Posted April 21, 2012 5:01 am

    Gender neutral pronouns – zie, zir ,zim.
    What is zie doing ?
    Oh, chopping down zir tree.
    Damn ! I told zim not to do that!
    Already in widespread use in gender discussion communities.
    And yeah – gily ?
    SO many languages where that’s actually… not a great choice, lol!

    • Alex Posted April 21, 2012 12:40 pm

      Zie and zim seem like bad ideas as well, because (especially in the examples you gave) it sounds more like someone speaking lazily and combining is and he in the first example and tolds and him in the second. As an actor and writer I tend to pay a lot of attention to how things sound in multiple dialects and it would just be confusing. I don’t see what the problem is, when referring to groups, with sticking with them for a third person gener neutral term and incorporating the lengthened (and original) version of the Southern United States term of you all for second person usage. For individual, it seems to me that trying to incorporate gender neutral terms is either disingenuous (deliberately trying to obfuscate the facts of the situation)or just plain poor communication (not realizing that trying to hide information about the person being referred to could affect the outcome of a discussion or situation).

      • Kit Posted April 21, 2012 1:10 pm

        The terms are generally used to refer to a person who *prefers* a gender neutral verbiage for self reference.
        In the settings in which one finds the desire for a gender neutral reference, you’re usually going to encounter two types – PC – those who wish to avoid any hint of masculine dominance – and the gender queer community , many of whom do not feel either set of personal pronouns to be accurate for their own identification.
        I have yet to see that group find anything other than ‘their’ for group usage, though.
        And yes, I use y’all to refer to a group myself, lol.

  • dbibb Posted April 21, 2012 11:24 am

    I like the more traditional, “folks,” as in, “OK, folks, ready for the movie?”

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