What Does Mx. Stand For? How to Properly Use the Title

Learn the meaning, pronunciation, and use of the honorific.
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Photo: River West Photography
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Shelby Wax
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Shelby Wax
The Knot Contributor
  • Shelby is a contributing writer for The Knot covering all things weddings.
  • Shelby is a freelance writer for publications including Vogue, Over the Moon and Allure. She previously served as Senior Editor at Brides and Editor at Lonny Magazine.
  • Shelby graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English from Scripps College.
Updated Dec 19, 2023

While you likely are already familiar with the English honorific titles of Mr., Mrs., Miss, and Ms., it's possible you might not be familiar with another common title, Mx. So, what does Mx. stand for? The honorific is a gender-neutral term that can be used by any person regardless of their gender identity. While the word wasn't added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary until 2017, the title was first found in print back in 1977. It is now a much more common honorific that is used by those who prefer to not identify with a particular gender.

"People like me—genderqueer and nonbinary folx—sometimes choose gender-neutral honorifics precisely because the traditionally gendered formalities don't suit us," explains Karla Villar, a wedding officiant and co-owner of Once Upon a Vow. "Oftentimes, those of us who choose to use Mx., either for ourselves or when referring to others, tend to do so because we believe language matters and we want to be intentional about our words as we engage with our ever-changing world."

If you have anyone on your wedding guest list who prefers to use the Mx. title, you might be curious how to address your invitations properly. Ahead, we break down both the meaning of Mx., as well as explain how to accurately use it when writing or addressing a letter.

In this article: What Is the Mx. | Mx. Meaning | Mx. Pronunciation | What Mx. Stands For | How to Use Mx.

What Is the Mx. Title?

Mx. is an honorific or title that does not have any gender associated with it. It can be used by those who do not identify with a gender or would not like to be identified by a gender. The title also does not signify someone's marital status.

"Mx. being in the mix nowadays, specifically for those of us here in the U.S., is simply reflecting the reality of our times and culture just as the rise in the use of Ms. over Miss and Mrs. in the '60s and '70s reflected that era," Villar explains. "The feminist movement's rejection of strict and antiquated gender roles shifted our language and social norms in a myriad of ways. Doing away with the mandate to identify women based on their marital status when men aren't and have never been subjected to the same was part of the larger effort towards self-empowerment, self-realization, and leveling the 'playing field' for women. Similarly, thanks to our growing visibility and the ongoing activism of our enby peeps, language is being adapted to make space for and capture more of our experiences with and expressions of gender. More inclusive terms and phrasing that is less binary are being adopted because language, like life and love, is expansive. Language does what it and we will always do—evolve."

Mx. Meaning

"Mx. is a gender-neutral courtesy title and an option for folx who don't want to use the very gendered and more broadly known honorifics of Mr. or Ms.," explains Villar of what Mx. before a name means. "Because Mx. does not indicate the gender identity of the person being formally addressed, it is more inclusive of non-binary and gender non-conforming people, as well as anyone who doesn't wish to disclose or limit their gender identity or expression."

Mx. Pronunciation: How to Pronounce the Title?

There are a few ways to pronounce Mx. According to Merriam-Webster, it can sound like mix or mux. Some people prefer to have the letters "m" and "x" said out loud as well.

What Does Mx. Stand For?

Curious what the letters in "Mx." stand for? They actually don't represent a proper word that it is shortened from. Rather, it takes its inspiration from other abbreviated honorifics. The 'm' in Mx. is a nod to other traditional titles like Mr. or Ms. that begin with the letter. "The 'x' in Mx.—like the 'x' in Latinx or the 'x' I personally choose to use in 'folx'—is intended to message inclusivity and a general acceptance that more than two genders can and do exist," says Villar.

How to Use Mx.

Using Mx. is very simple in both speaking and writing—just like any other gendered honorific. When writing the title for someone on your guest list when addressing a wedding invitation, for example, you would write either "Mx. Jane Doe" if you want to include the person's first name or "Mx. Doe" if you only want to include a last name. When speaking, you follow the exact same suit. Villar adds, "Since Mx. is gender neutral, it can and may one day be the default honorific as it can be used for all of us, regardless of where we are on our gender journey or where we land on the gender spectrum."

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