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See also: two spirit




  • (UK, US) IPA(key): /tuːˈspɪɹɪt/, /ˈtuːˌspɪɹɪt/

Etymology 1Edit

A calque of Ojibwe niizh manidoowag (two spirits), from niizh (two) + manidoo (spirit).[1] Replaced berdache, which had come to be considered offensive.


English Wikipedia has an article on:

two-spirit (plural two-spirits)

  1. A Native (North) American who is non-cisgender, non-binary or gender-variant (especially one belonging to a traditional tribal third-gender, fourth-gender or transgender category), or who is non-heterosexual.
    • 2009, James Neill, The Origins and Role of Same-Sex Relations in Human Societies, page 38:
      Because of their spiritual powers, sex with a two-spirit was often considered to bring good luck.
Usage notesEdit
  • Some people include (contemporary) gay, lesbian, and bisexual tribespeople as well as (historical and contemporary) gender-variant ones, considering the categories "essentially identical"; others view LGB people as a different category from gender-variant people.[2]
  • berdache (now often considered offensive)


two-spirit (not comparable)

  1. Pertaining to or being a two-spirit.
    • 1996, Ritch C Savin-Williams and Kenneth M Cohen, The Lives of Lesbians, Gays, and Bisexuals: Children to Adults, page 421:
      A Hupa two-spirit male told me: ‘I was real feminine as a child, from as early as I can remember.’
    • 1997, Sue-Ellen Jacobs, Wesley Thomas, and Sabine Lang, Two-spirit People, page 4:
      With this etymology, it should come as no surprise that many Native American gay, lesbian, transgender, and other two-spirit people consider the term ‘berdache’ derogatory.
    • 2010, Walter L Williams, The Guardian, 11 Oct 2010:
      Instead of seeing two-spirit persons as transsexuals who try to make themselves into "the opposite sex", it is more accurate to understand them as individuals who take on a gender status that is different from both men and women.

See alsoEdit


Etymology 2Edit

From two +‎ spirit.


two-spirit (not comparable)

  1. (theology) Involving two spirits; especially, pertaining to the doctrine of dualism espoused in the so-called Treatise on the Two Spirits in the Dead Sea Scrolls.
    • 1957, The Harvard Divinity School bulletin (Harvard University Press), page 133:
      Paul's grasp of the Spirit as the sign of the erupting messianic age is at odds with the two-spirit thought of Qumran which never became incompatible with law observance.