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definition of the word boy

by the Wiktionnary

Rank of this word in the English language, from analyzing texts from Project Gutenberg.
five need met #395: boy c. strong dead

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Origin uncertain. Perhaps (after Dobson 1940) of French origin (compare Anglo-Norman boi (fetter)); it has also been linked to Germanic with comparisons in Middle Dutch boye (servant). There is also speculation that the word would originally stem from baby talk. [1].



boy (plural boys)

  1. (now rare) A male servant.
    When the dipenda (independence movement) in Belgian Congo turned violent, the white colonisators' often materially privileged black domestic boys were mistrusted and often abused as collaborators.
  2. (US, offensive, pejorative, historical) A non-white slave or labourer; a male African-American of any age.
  3. (obsolete, pejorative) A lower-class or disreputable man; a worthless person.
    • 1608, William Shakespeare, King Lear, Act I Scene 4:
      Dost thou call me fool, boy?
  4. A young male, usually a child or adolescent.
    The boys were playing kickball in the mud.
    Steve is a boy of 16.
  5. A man of any age, used as a friendly diminutive, or of a man who is merely younger than the speaker.
    Whatever else you say about him, the boy can play.
    1977: I like the boy. — Australian entertainer Bert Newton, to Mohammed Ali at the 1977 Logie Awards, famously unaware of how insulting this is under the US usage below [2]
  6. An adult male, particularly when used by straight women or gay men to refer to someone considered attractive.
  7. (informal) Male (usually adult) friends.
    I’m going out for a few drinks with the boys.
    Me and my boy grew up together in Southside.
  8. (endearing) A proud parent's son, regardless of age.
    That's my boy.
  9. (endearing) A caring owner's pet or working animal, regardless of age.
    Here, boys, heel; yes, Bobby, show the puppies how, good boy!

Definition from Wiktionary
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