Saying “you guys”


Is there a problem with saying “you guys”? I use it all the time (even if there is a female in the group). I never really saw a problem with it until one of my friends (a semi SJW girl) brought it up.

What do you guys (lol) think? Is there a problem with this? If so, what alternative phrases can you even use without sounding like a weirdo?

Comments (53)

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Jul 28, 2020 - 12:04am

You guys and bro are both gender neutral terms

Jul 28, 2020 - 12:07am

that's just silly mate. 'Guys' seems pretty gender neutral when speaking in a group. Uniquely English has a plural 'you' and no singular 'you', hence there's no real way to say "you multiple people" other than the southerner "y'all" so it's a gap in the language.

Not your fault, it's a flaw in the language.

Instead I suggest you use "hey fuckers" whenever referring to multiple people. As in "hey fuckers, you ready to go to lunch?" or "Good morning fuckers," or "I'm so happy you fuckers could make it to my birthday."

And tell your SJW colleague to go pound sand.

Jul 28, 2020 - 6:05am

Not to my understanding. Hence 'you are' and not 'you is'. That's the glitch in the English language. 'You' is always plural. Hence the southerner "y'all" is grammatically incorrect, but in reality English needs such a clarification in many cases to make it clear that the 'you' is referring to multiple people. The Brits often say 'you lot' to similarly patch the glitch. But this is WSO so 'you fuckers' makes more sense.

Jul 28, 2020 - 12:19am

I’d say “everyone” (not a perfect substitute but good enough) until I notice a girl in the group say “you guys,” which wouldn’t take too long, and then I’d say “you guys” thereafter. For example, say “what does everyone think?” Instead of “what do you guys think?”

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Jul 28, 2020 - 12:34am

"semi SJW" is a good joke, try batshit crazy lol.

On another note, I use the words "bud" and "buddy" unironically and I looked a 70 year old man in the eye yesterday and called him "bud" with no hesitation. Can't wait till I call my next interviewer "buddy"

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Jul 28, 2020 - 3:36am

In my experience, it’s standard in RFPs and mandate letters to address the recipients and start the letter with “Dear Sirs”, no matter who actually receives it. Isn’t that a bit old school? A female associate freaks out every time we receive one...

Jul 28, 2020 - 6:12am

Just say 'guys.' Who cares?

Even I find this semantic, and I've written papers on the differences between GICS and ICB industry classifications. (Sorry, that one's internal use only)

I generally see somebody I know on TV on Bloomberg/CNBC etc. once or twice a week. This sounds cool, until I remind myself that I see somebody I know on ESPN five days a week.
Jul 28, 2020 - 7:30am

I stick to the traditional "ye" when addressing groups. This also has the benefit of adhering to modern mores of gender neutrality, thus burnishing my credentials and appearing more 'with-it'.

If I have to address someone singularly and I outrank them socially, as I usually do, I am sure to use "thou". Otherwise I default to "You". I suggest you follow my approach here.

Jul 28, 2020 - 7:55am

didn't happen

Good thing we got another "SJW" thread on WSO though. We were definitely running low on those.

Commercial Real Estate Developer

Jul 28, 2020 - 9:59am

It's good if somebody gets offended at something stupid. It's free valuable information that they're someone you can disregard and pay no mind.


Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.
Jul 28, 2020 - 10:07am

I have a former coworker who's aVP. She gets "Guys" but we go to drinks with former coworkers. (the karaoke afterward is fun)

I generally see somebody I know on TV on Bloomberg/CNBC etc. once or twice a week. This sounds cool, until I remind myself that I see somebody I know on ESPN five days a week.
Jul 28, 2020 - 8:17pm


I currently am going through training with a bunch of SJWs, who say that "guys" is offensive. I'm conflicted between just saying it anyways, or making sure I'm on good terms with everyone and saying "everyone."

I mean, there is a certain decor that needs to be observed. You need to be careful if you don't really know the people personally. I've sent "congratulations on your child" cards to half of the coworkers I didn't say it in person to, but will call 'bros'. (their Instagrams are crap, btw.)

I generally see somebody I know on TV on Bloomberg/CNBC etc. once or twice a week. This sounds cool, until I remind myself that I see somebody I know on ESPN five days a week.
  • Incoming Analyst in IB - Gen
Jul 28, 2020 - 11:23am

I’ve referred to a group of girls as “you guys” plenty of times. It’s never meant as a gender thing but instead as a way to refer to a group of people. Like, “do you guys know where the rest room is” instead of “do you people know where the rest room is”. If I was speaking to a group of girls saying “hey girls” would just come off as very weird..

Jul 28, 2020 - 11:58am

Quick Story Time:

I used to bartend to put myself through university back in the day.

One day I had a party of two Karens/'Can I Speak To Your Manager' types. Bowl cut bangs on the front - long hair on the back - you get the picture.

I tried to open the conversation super friendly by saying "Hey guys, how can I help you two today? :)"

They responded cordially, I took their order, and went to go put it into the system. However, after I left they went directly to the hostess at the front to complain about me calling them "guys"....... they felt as if I did it on purpose to make them feel uncomfortable and yet they wouldn't even tell me to my face? At least tell me why you are unjustly offended....... Not immediately go try and run to someone to try and get me in trouble for saying what I thought was polite.....

This was back in 2013; I couldn't imagine what servers & bartenders have to put up with today with how this world is encouraging everyone to be offended by everything.

There is more than one way to get there. I'd rather have 30 chapters than 3000 pages.
Jul 28, 2020 - 3:51pm

The problem with saying anything potentially offensive is not saying it to the 95% of people who are normal (i.e. competent). It's saying it to the <5% who are the vocal minority that make any of these issues such a huge problem today. Of course if everyone was normal none of these situations would be a problem - but they are aren't they?

There is more than one way to get there. I'd rather have 30 chapters than 3000 pages.
Jul 28, 2020 - 1:30pm

I think saying "you guys" is totally fine.

However, starting off emails with "gents' is gendered and should be done away with.

Plus, every time an email starts off with "gents" you know it is going to be bad...

Jul 28, 2020 - 3:18pm

On a similar note I met up with some friends to drink beers at at a city park. One of them was complaining about making minum wage at a cheese shop while shes getting her masters in Social Work (why??) at an expensive private college. My other friend was like yeah minum wage should be $20/hr, so that you can afford to live better etc. I was like uhh NO, and you shouldn't have to rely on minumam wage as an educated adult, and living in the neighborhoods that "you guys" do is a privilege, not a right. It was astonishing.

Jul 28, 2020 - 3:40pm

I used to wonder that myself until I started hearing it used in meeting by females as well. So I don’t see what the issue is. These fucking days you need to think about too much and tbh majority of people don’t give a fuck. Media and social media makes it seem as if it’s a hot topic but talk to 20 people and 18 will tell you this whole thing is stupid. But we somehow all of sudden base our lives on the few morons in society.

Start Discussion

Total Avg Compensation

September 2020 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (17) $704
  • Vice President (45) $323
  • Associates (257) $228
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (37) $203
  • 2nd Year Analyst (142) $153
  • Intern/Summer Associate (134) $141
  • 1st Year Analyst (566) $129
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (547) $82

Leaderboard See all

Jamoldo's picture
LonLonMilk's picture
Secyh62's picture
CompBanker's picture
Edifice's picture
redever's picture
Addinator's picture
frgna's picture
NuckFuts's picture
bolo up's picture
bolo up