The Oxford Dictionary will now include the word ‘cisgender’ – a term which means the opposite of transgender ie. a person who identifies with their birth gender.
The dictionary traces the evolution of the word to the ’90s, and usage appears to go back to at least 1994, when a University of Minnesota biologist included the term in a study of transphobia.
The term was mostly confined to academic journals and online forums about gender issues until trans activist Julia Serano popularised it in her 2007 book, Whipping Girl.
The Oxford Dictionary defines cisgender as: “Denoting or relating to a person whose self-identity conforms with the gender that corresponds to their biological sex; not transgender: this new-found attention to the plight of black trans folks by primarily cisgender allies is timely and necessary.”
For the linguists out there, cisgender stems from the Latin prefix cis, meaning on this side of — versus trans, which means on the other side of.
Other new words to be added to the Oxford Dictionary included ‘twerk’, ‘twitterati’, and ‘fo’ shizzle’.