I was way ahead of them though - I call everyone 'hon'. My dad did too - and he was Swedish. Although I just found out that 'hon' is the word for 'she' in Swedish. Who knew? My dad didn't, he only knew Norwegian. Don't ask.
So here's the deal:
Swedes are shaking up their language with a new gender-neutral pronoun. The pronoun, “hen,” allows speakers and writers to refer to a person without including reference to a person’s gender. This month, the pronoun made a big leap toward mainstream usage when it was added to the country’s National Encyclopedia.
“Hen” (pronounced like the English word for chicken) is a modified version of the Swedish words “han” and “hon,” which mean “he” and “she” respectively. The pronoun first emerged as a suggestion from Swedish linguists back to the 1960s. Though it has taken a while for the word to catch on, some Swedish magazines and even a children’s book have now adopted it in their texts. - Read more here.I think I'll keep going with 'hon' and 'poodle' - it makes people feel special.