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em +‎ -self, or by removing "th" from themself (cf. also 'emself, 'emselves)


  • Rhymes: -ɛlf
  • Hyphenation: em‧self


emself (a reflexive, third person gender-neutral singular personal pronoun)

  1. (neologism, reflexive) em, themself; Gender-neutral object of a verb or preposition that also appears as the subject, the reflexive form of em.
    • 1975 August 23, Black, Judie, “Ey has a word for it”, in Chicago Tribune, 1, page 12:
      Eir sentences would sound smoother since ey wouldn't clutter them with the old sexist pronouns. And if ey should trip up in the new usage, ey would only have emself to blame.
    • 2003, Hess, Elizabeth, Yib's Guide to MOOing: Getting the Most from Virtual Communities on the Internet, Trafford Publishing, →ISBN, OL 11711229M, page 233:
      In this particular instance, a wizard eventually took it upon emself to @toad Mr_Bungle...
    • 2004 March 31, Thomas, Sue, Hello World : travels in virtuality[1], Raw Nerve Books, →ISBN, OL 4487793W, page 78:
      The adult worries much less; is cautious, sensible and knows how to protect emself and eir system from attack and error.
    • 2007, Morgan O'Friel, Larkenia's Flaws: Volume 1, Grand Rapids: TheSpindle, →ISBN, page 136:
      As he[sic] struggled to yank Sarah back to eir room, Edward promised emself that ey'd do whatever ey could to save what was left of eir sibling's sanity- and protect em from their monster of a mother.
  2. (neologism, emphatic) em, themself; an intensive repetition of a gender-neutral subject, often used to indicate exclusiveness of that person as the only satisfier of a predicate.



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