The paper analyses the diffusion of the term binario (n) in its meaning related to gender identity in the Italian lexicon. In order to analyse the use of the term binario (n), different sources have been investigated, such as Italian web corpora, Google searches and contents provided by Italian youtubers dealing with gender issues. I suggest that the term binario (n), borrowed from English in its meaning of 'dichotomy' related to gender issues, has been reinterpreted in the light of a pseudo-etymology (a popular but false belief about the origin or derivation of a specific word) that involves the term binario (n) 'rails, railway'. The metaphor LIFE IS A JOURNEY, described by G. Lakoff, seems to play an active role in the speakers' interpretation of the construction binario (n) di genere, which can shift from the meaning of ‘gender dichotomy’ to that of ‘predetermined path (rails) in gender identity’. As a matter of fact, gender binarism is often represented as a railway system, and those who do not identify their gender in binary terms are described as passengers being derailed from their path.
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