Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Sex + Relationships

‘Sisters Before Misters,’ but Make it Gender Neutral

Hi, hello, in case you haven’t noticed, it’s 2021 and gender-neutral language is now a fact of life. Not only is it inclusive, using gender-neutral language can also save us all from the awkwardness of misgendering someone or trying to guess a person’s gender. It’s also really easy to do. So why, in our increasingly gender-neutral lexicon, have we not swapped out “sisters before misters” (or any of its more *explicit* equivalents... IKYK) with something more inclusive? If you or one of your friends is in a same-sex relationship, you or your partner identifies with a gender outside of the traditional gender binary, or you have a mixed-gender friend group, these common cliches might not quite fit your situation. Since friends always come first, regardless of their gender or sexual orientation, here is a list of phrases to use when “baddies before daddies” just won’t cut it:

Mates before dates.

I’ll start with the most obvious one: “mates before dates.” Bonus points for being Australian.

BFFs before DTFs.

BFFs > hookups. Always.

Great friends before datefriends.

ICYMI, datefriend is a gender-neutral way to say boyfriend or girlfriend that originated in the early 2010s.

Buds before baes.

Although it doesn’t rhyme, “buds before baes” kinda just rolls off the tongue, amirite?

Day ones before hons.

Day ones come first, both chronologically and in order of importance.

Peers before dears.

Like, your close peers. Not the 350 peers in your first-year psych class — dears can (and should) come before those peers.

Teammates before dream mates.

Cringey, I know, but it also kind of… works?

Brothers before significant others.

Okay, so this one isn’t technically gender-neutral, but if you use “brothers” in the ungendered sense of the word, it can work.

Bros before SOs.

If “brothers before significant others” is too long for you, go with its abbreviated form, “bros before SOs.”

Crew before boo.

Finally, my personal favourite: “crew before boo.” Simple, straightforward, and gender-inclusive.

There you have it — ten ways to say “ladies before shadies” with no reference to gender whatsoever. Now you have no excuse to use a gendered slogan in a context that calls for something more flexible. Let’s normalize these phrases to make the English language a little bit more inclusive, one cliche at a time.

Just your average collegiette striving to get the most out of her university experience. Emily writes and edits for Her Campus uOttawa and studies communication and professional writing.
Similar Reads👯‍♀️