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From the English preposition cis (“on this side of”). The earliest known gender-related use of the prefix in any language was in a 1914 German-language book on sexology. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the earliest use of the prefix in the context of gender in English dates from 1994.
- (geography) On this side of.
- (chemistry) Forming names of chemical compounds in which two atoms or groups are situated on the same side of some plane of symmetry passing through the compound.
- (gender) Cis; cisgender or cissexual.
- (gender) Of, related to, or specific to cis persons.
- In the first sense, “on this side of”, this prefix is usually attached directly to the word it modifies, or sometimes separated from it by a hyphen: cisrhenane, cis-Neptunian.
- In the gender-related senses, this prefix is attached directly to certain words, most notably cisgender and cissexual (which are almost always spelled thus, not as e.g. *cis sexual). In other cases, the related standalone adjective cis is used: hence one speaks of a cis perspective (not *cisperspective), etc. In particular, it is now sometimes considered offensive to write cisman or cis-man, the preferred spelling being cis man (cis man). Compare trans- and trans.
- ^ Ernst Burchard (1914) Lexikon des gesamten Sexuallebens (in German)
- ^ New words notes December 2015 – Oxford English Dictionary