guy

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See also: Guy, GUY, and Guy.

English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Old French guie.

Noun[edit]

guy (plural guys)

  1. (obsolete and rare) A guide; a leader or conductor.
  2. (primarily nautical) A support rope or cable used to guide, steady or secure something which is being hoisted or lowered. Also a support to secure or steady something prone to shift its position or be carried away, e.g. the mast of a ship or a suspension-bridge.
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

guy (third-person singular simple present guys, present participle guying, simple past and past participle guyed)

  1. To equip with a support cable.
Translations[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

Named from Guy Fawkes (1570-1606), an English Catholic hanged for his role in the Gunpowder Plot.

Noun[edit]

guy (plural guys)

  1. (UK) An effigy of a man burned on a bonfire on the anniversary of the Gunpowder Plot (5th November).
  2. A person of eccentric appearance or dress.
    • W. S. Gilbert
      The lady [] who dresses like a guy.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Charles Dickens to this entry?)
  3. (colloquial) A male
    A new guy started at the office today.
    Jane considers that guy to be very good looking.
  4. (colloquial, in the plural) people
    I wonder what those guys are doing with that cat?
  5. (colloquial, of animals and sometimes objects) thing, creature
    The dog's left foreleg was broken, poor little guy.
  6. (colloquial, technology) thing, unit
    This guy, here, controls the current, and this guy, here, measures the voltage.
  7. (informal, term of address) Buster, Mack, fella
    Hey, guy, give a man a break, would ya?
Usage notes[edit]
  • In plural, guys is not completely gender-neutral but it may refer to people of either sex in some circumstances and forms; the greeting "Hey guys" can generally refer to people of either gender. This usage is not always seen as accurate or correct. Referring to a group as "guys" usually means a group of men or a mixed-gender group, since describing a group of women as guys, as in "the Pussycat Dolls are a bunch of guys", suggests that they are male, and is generally viewed as incorrect or inaccurate in that usage. In contrast, the all-male band Green Day could accurately be described as "a bunch of guys" in slang. The usage of the plural guys in the phrase "some guys chased them away" would generally be assumed to mean men rather than women.
  • When used of animals, guy usually refers to either a male or one whose gender is not known; it is rarely if ever used of an animal that is known to be female.
  • In US and Canadian English, you guys attempts to revive the distinction between a singular and plural you, to avoid confusion between the two uses, much as y'all serves the same role.
Synonyms[edit]
Antonyms[edit]
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

guy (third-person singular simple present guys, present participle guying, simple past and past participle guyed)

  1. (intransitive) To exhibit an effigy of Guy Fawkes around the 5th November.
  2. (transitive) To make fun of, to ridicule with wit or innuendo.
    • 2003, Roy Porter, Flesh in the Age of Reason, Penguin 2004, p. 278:
      Swift and other satirists mercilessly guyed the unlettered self-importance of the peddlars of such soul-food, exposing their humility and self-laceration as an egregious and obnoxious form of self-advertisement (s'excuser, c'est s'accuser).
    • 2006, Clive James, North Face of Soho, Picador 2007, p. 187:
      Terry Kilmartin [...], applauded for every ‘um’ and ‘ah’, knew that he was being guyed and had the charm to make it funny.

See also[edit]