boy

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See also: Boy and bõy

English[edit]

English Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia

Etymology[edit]

Painting of a boy (c. 1811)
Two Arab boys (c. 1910)

From Middle English boy, boye (servant, commoner, knave, boy), from Old English *bōia (boy), from Proto-West Germanic *bōjō, from Proto-Germanic *bōjô (younger brother, young male relation), from Proto-Germanic *bō- (brother, close male relation), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰā-, *bʰāt- (father, elder brother, brother).

Cognate with Scots boy (boy), West Frisian boai (boy), Middle Dutch boi, booi (boy), Low German Boi (boy), and probably to the Old English proper name Bōia. Also related to West Flemish boe (brother), Norwegian dialectal boa (brother), Dutch boef (rogue, knave), Bavarian Bua (young boy, lad), German Bube ("boy; knave; jack"; > English bub), Icelandic bófi (rogue, crook, bandit, knave). See also bully.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

boy (countable and uncountable, plural boys)

  1. A young male. [from 15th c.]
    Kate is dating a boy named Jim.
    1. (particularly) A male child or teenager, as distinguished from infants or adults.
      • 1876, Frances Eliza Millett Notley, The Kiddle-a-Wink, "A Tale of Love", page 169:
        "He is not quite a baby, Alfred," said Ellen, "though he is only a big stupid boy. We have made him miserable enough. Let us leave him alone."
  2. (diminutive) A son of any age.
  3. (endearing, diminutive) A male of any age, particularly one rather younger than the speaker. [from 17th c.]
  4. (obsolete) A male of low station, (especially as pejorative) a worthless male, a wretch; a mean and dishonest male, a knave. [14th-17th c.]
  5. (now rare and usually offensive outside some Commonwealth nations) A male servant, slave, assistant, or employee, [from 14th c.] particularly:
    • c. 1300, King Horn, line 1075:
      þe boye hit scholde abugge; Horn þreu him ouer þe brigge.
    • 1899 Feb, Joseph Conrad, “The Heart of Darkness”, in Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, page 211:
      He allowed his ‘boy’ - an overfed young negro from the coast - to treat the white men, under his very eyes, with provoking insolence.
    • 1973, Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow, i, 37:
      ‘Why does he go out and pinch all his dogs in person? He's an administrator, isn't he? Wouldn't he hire a boy or something?’
      ‘We call them “staff”,’ Roger replies.
    1. A younger such worker.
      • 1721, Penelope Aubin, The Life of Madam de Beaumount, ii, 36:
        I resolved to continue in the Cave, with my two Servants, my Maid, and a Boy, whom I had brought from France.
    2. (historical or offensive) A non-white male servant regardless of age, [from 17th c.] particularly as a form of address.
      • 1625, W. Hawkins in Samuel Purchas, Hakluytus Posthumus or Purchas his Pilgrimes, Vol. I, iii, vii, 211:
        My Boy Stephen Grauener.
      • 1834, Edward Markham, New Zealand or Recollections of It, 72:
        They picked out two of the strongest of the Boys (as they call the Men) about the place.
      • 1876, Ebenezer Thorne, The Queen of the Colonies, or, Queensland as I Knew It, 58:
        The blacks who work on a station or farm are always, like the blacks in the Southern States, called boys.
      • 1907 May 13, N.Y. Evening Post, 6:
        [In Shanghai,] The register clerk assigns you to a room, and instead of ‘Front!’ he shouts ‘Boy!’
      • 1959, Anthony Burgess, Beds in the East (The Malayan Trilogy), published 1972, page 521:
        He thrust his head into the aisle. "Boy!" A Chinese in a white coat responded listlessly. "What will you have? Beer?"
      • 1960 February 5, Northern Territory News, 5/5:
        Aborigine Wally... described himself as ‘number one boy’ at the station.
    3. (obsolete) A male camp follower.
  6. (now offensive) Any non-white male, regardless of age. [from 19th c.]
    • 1812, Anne Plumptre translating Hinrich Lichtenstein, Travels in Southern Africa, in the Years 1803, 1804, 1805, and 1806, Vol. I, i, viii, 119:
      A Hottentot... expects to be called by his name if addressed by any one who knows it; and by those to whom it is not known he expects to be called Hottentot... or boy.
    • 1888, Louis Diston Powles, Land of Pink Pearl, or Recollections of Life in the Bahamas, 66:
      Every darky, however old, is a boy.
    • 1973 September 8, Black Panther, 7/2:
      [In Alabama,] Guards still use the term ‘boy’ to refer to Black prisoners.
    • 1979, Bert Newton and Mohammed Ali, The Logie Awards:
      BN: [repeating a catchphrase] I like the boy.
      MA: [to hostile audience] Hold it, hold it, hold it. Easy. Did you say ‘Roy’ or ‘boy’?
      BN: ‘I like the boy’. There's nothing wrong with saying that... Hang on, hang on, hang on... I'll change religion, I'll do anything for ya, I don't bloody care... What's wrong with saying that? ‘I like the boy’?
      MA: Boy...
      BN: I mean, I like the man. I'm sorry, Muhammad.
  7. A male animal, especially, in affectionate address, a male dog. [from 15th c.]
    C'mere, boy! Good boy! Who's a good boy?
    Are you getting a boy cat or a girl cat?
  8. (historical, military) A former low rank of various armed services; a holder of this rank.
    • 1841 May 6, Times in London, 5/4:
      Wounded... 1 Boy, 1st class, severely.
    • 1963 April 30, Times in London, 16/2:
      He joined the Navy as a boy second class in 1898.
  9. (US, slang, uncountable) Heroin. [from 20th c.]
  10. (somewhat childish) A male (tree, gene, etc).
    • 1950, Pageant:
      Are there “boy” trees and “girl” trees? Yes. A number of species, among them the yew, holly and date-bearing palm, have their male and female flowers on different trees. The male holly, for instance, must be planted fairly close to the female ...
    • 1970 [earlier 1963], Helen V. Wilson, Helen Van Pelt, Helen Van Pelt's African Violets, Dutton Adult (→ISBN):
      Of the 100 percent total, 25 will have two girl genes, 50 will have one boy and one girl gene, and 25 will have two boy genes.

Synonyms[edit]

Antonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Descendants[edit]

  • Cebuano: boy
  • Dutch: boy
  • French: boy
  • Italian: boy
  • Jamaican Creole: bwoy
  • Sranan Tongo: boy
  • Vietnamese: bồi

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Interjection[edit]

boy

  1. Exclamation of surprise, pleasure or longing.
    Boy, that was close!
    Boy, that tastes good!
    Boy, I wish I could go to Canada!
    • 2020 December 2, Paul Bigland, “My weirdest and wackiest Rover yet”, in Rail, page 68:
      Time is running out, so I renounce a spin on a Class 387 for a fast run to Paddington on another Class 800 - a shame as the weather was perfect for pictures. Even so, it's enjoyable - boy, can those trains shift under the wires.

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

boy (third-person singular simple present boys, present participle boying, simple past and past participle boyed)

  1. (transitive) To act as a boy (in allusion to the former practice of boys acting women's parts on the stage).

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary, Springfield, Massachusetts, G.&C. Merriam Co., 1967

Anagrams[edit]


Azerbaijani[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Proto-Turkic *bod (body, stature; self; kin, tribe, etc).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

boy (definite accusative boyu, plural boylar)

  1. height, stature
    Boyum balacadır.
    I'm short.
    (literally, “My stature is little.”)

Declension[edit]

    Declension of boy
singular plural
nominative boy
boylar
definite accusative boyu
boyları
dative boya
boylara
locative boyda
boylarda
ablative boydan
boylardan
definite genitive boyun
boyların
    Possessive forms of boy
nominative
singular plural
mənim (my) boyum boylarım
sənin (your) boyun boyların
onun (his/her/its) boyu boyları
bizim (our) boyumuz boylarımız
sizin (your) boyunuz boylarınız
onların (their) boyu or boyları boyları
accusative
singular plural
mənim (my) boyumu boylarımı
sənin (your) boyunu boylarını
onun (his/her/its) boyunu boylarını
bizim (our) boyumuzu boylarımızı
sizin (your) boyunuzu boylarınızı
onların (their) boyunu or boylarını boylarını
dative
singular plural
mənim (my) boyuma boylarıma
sənin (your) boyuna boylarına
onun (his/her/its) boyuna boylarına
bizim (our) boyumuza boylarımıza
sizin (your) boyunuza boylarınıza
onların (their) boyuna or boylarına boylarına
locative
singular plural
mənim (my) boyumda boylarımda
sənin (your) boyunda boylarında
onun (his/her/its) boyunda boylarında
bizim (our) boyumuzda boylarımızda
sizin (your) boyunuzda boylarınızda
onların (their) boyunda or boylarında boylarında
ablative
singular plural
mənim (my) boyumdan boylarımdan
sənin (your) boyundan boylarından
onun (his/her/its) boyundan boylarından
bizim (our) boyumuzdan boylarımızdan
sizin (your) boyunuzdan boylarınızdan
onların (their) boyundan or boylarından boylarından
genitive
singular plural
mənim (my) boyumun boylarımın
sənin (your) boyunun boylarının
onun (his/her/its) boyunun boylarının
bizim (our) boyumuzun boylarımızın
sizin (your) boyunuzun boylarınızın
onların (their) boyunun or boylarının boylarının

Derived terms[edit]


Cebuano[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From English boy.

Noun[edit]

boy

  1. houseboy, errand boy

Synonyms[edit]


Chibcha[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

boy

  1. Alternative form of boi

References[edit]

  • Gómez Aldana D. F., Análisis morfológico del Vocabulario 158 de la Biblioteca Nacional de Colombia. Grupo de Investigación Muysccubun. 2013.

Dutch[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from English boy.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

boy m (plural boys, diminutive boytje n)

  1. (historical, now offensive) a male domestic servant, especially one with a darker skin in a colony
  2. (informal) boy, young man
    Ik vind die Roy echt een rare boy.I think this Roy is really a strange young man.

See also[edit]


French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From English boy.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

boy m (plural boys)

  1. (now historical, offensive) boy (non-white male servant)
    • 1930, André Malraux, La Voie royale:
      Claude allait l'ouvrir mais le ton sur lequel le délégué appelait son boy lui fit lever la tête : l'auto attendait, bleue sous l'ampoule de la porte; le boy, qui s'était écarté – en voyant arriver le délégué sans doute – se rapprochait, hésitant.

Further reading[edit]


Hungarian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from English boy.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

boy (plural boyok)

  1. A young male servant, low-position assistant.
    1. bellboy (in a hotel)
      Synonym: londiner
    2. office boy, errand boy, deliveryman
      Synonyms: kifutófiú, kézbesítő
  2. (dated) A male ballet dancer.

Declension[edit]

Inflection (stem in -o-, back harmony)
singular plural
nominative boy boyok
accusative boyt boyokat
dative boynak boyoknak
instrumental boyjal boyokkal
causal-final boyért boyokért
translative boyjá boyokká
terminative boyig boyokig
essive-formal boyként boyokként
essive-modal
inessive boyban boyokban
superessive boyon boyokon
adessive boynál boyoknál
illative boyba boyokba
sublative boyra boyokra
allative boyhoz boyokhoz
elative boyból boyokból
delative boyról boyokról
ablative boytól boyoktól
non-attributive
possessive - singular
boyé boyoké
non-attributive
possessive - plural
boyéi boyokéi
Possessive forms of boy
possessor single possession multiple possessions
1st person sing. boyom boyaim
2nd person sing. boyod boyaid
3rd person sing. boya boyai
1st person plural boyunk boyaink
2nd person plural boyotok boyaitok
3rd person plural boyuk boyaik

Derived terms[edit]

Compound words

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • boy in Ittzés, Nóra (ed.). A magyar nyelv nagyszótára (’A Comprehensive Dictionary of the Hungarian Language’). Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó, 2006–2031 (work in progress; published A–ez as of 2022)

Italian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From English boy.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

boy m (plural boys)

  1. A male ballet dancer.
  2. bellboy (in a hotel)

References[edit]

  1. ^ boy in Luciano Canepari, Dizionario di Pronuncia Italiana (DiPI)

Further reading[edit]

  • boy in Treccani.it – Vocabolario Treccani on line, Istituto dell'Enciclopedia Italiana

Ladino[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Turkish boy (stature, size).

Noun[edit]

boy m (Latin spelling)

  1. size
  2. age

Polish[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Unadapted borrowing from English boy.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

boy m pers

  1. bellboy, office boy

Declension[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • boy in Wielki słownik języka polskiego, Instytut Języka Polskiego PAN
  • boy in Polish dictionaries at PWN

Portuguese[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

Shortening of office boy, from English office boy.

Alternative forms[edit]

Noun[edit]

boy m (plural boys)

  1. office boy
  2. (Brazil, slang) A young, upper-class male.
Synonyms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

Noun[edit]

boy m (plural boys)

  1. Obsolete spelling of boi

Spanish[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From English boy

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

boy m (plural boys)

  1. A male stripper.

Further reading[edit]


Sranan Tongo[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

  • boi (official spelling)

Etymology[edit]

From English boy.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

boy

  1. (unofficial spelling) boy

Tagalog[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from English boy.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

boy

  1. (colloquial) errand boy; houseboy; boy doing a menial job (usually young)

Derived terms[edit]


Turkish[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Proto-Turkic *bod. See archaic bodur (stout, short).

Noun[edit]

boy (definite accusative boyu, plural boylar)

  1. stature
    Boyun ne kadar?How tall are you? (lit. "How much is your stature?")
  2. size
    küçük boysmall size
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

Noun[edit]

boy (definite accusative boyu, plural boylar)

  1. tribe, clan
    eski Türk boyları tarihihistory of ancient Turkish clans
Declension[edit]
Inflection
Nominative boy
Definite accusative boyu
Singular Plural
Nominative boy boylar
Definite accusative boyu boyları
Dative boya boylara
Locative boyda boylarda
Ablative boydan boylardan
Genitive boyun boyların

Etymology 3[edit]

From Ottoman Turkish بوی(boy) constructed the same, from Proto-Oghuz, passed into it, Chagatai and Kipchak from Persian بوی(bōy, smell).

Noun[edit]

boy

  1. (only constructed with otu or tohumu) fenugreek
    Synonym: çemen

References[edit]

  • Clauson, Gerard (1972) An Etymological Dictionary of pre-thirteenth-century Turkish, Oxford: Clarendon Press, page 384b
  • Eren, Hasan (1999), “boy”, in Türk Dilinin Etimolojik Sözlüğü [Etymological Dictionary of the Turkish Language] (in Turkish), Ankara: Bizim Büro Basım Evi, page 59a

Westrobothnian[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old Norse bógr (shoulder), from Proto-Germanic *bōguz, from Proto-Indo-European *bʰāǵʰus.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

boy m (definite singular boyen)

  1. shoulder (of an animal)