The official dictionary of Sweden will introduce a new gender-neutral pronoun next month as a way to address a person without revealing the person’s gender. In Swedish, han refers to he and hon refers to she, and now hen can replace either. The new edition of the Swedish Academy’s SAOL will include 13,000 new words.
According to The Guardian: “The word “hen” was coined in the 1960s when the ubiquitous use of “han” (he) became politically incorrect, and was aimed at simplifying the language and avoiding the clumsy “han/hon” (s/he) construction.”
The word has been used since 2000 by the country’s transgender community.