guy

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See also: Guy, GUY, and Guy.

English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

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

Noun[edit]

guy ‎(plural guys)

  1. (Britain) An effigy of a man burned on a bonfire on the anniversary of the Gunpowder Plot (5th November).
  2. (colloquial) A male, man.
    A new guy started at the office today.
    Jane considers that guy to be very good looking.
  3. (colloquial, plural only) People.
    I wonder what those guys are doing with that cat?
  4. (colloquial, of animals and sometimes objects) Thing, creature.
    The dog's left foreleg was broken, poor little guy.
  5. (colloquial, technology) Thing, unit.
    This guy, here, controls the current, and this guy, here, measures the voltage.
  6. (informal, term of address) Buster, Mack, fella, bud, man.
    Hey, guy, give a man a break, would ya?
  7. (archaic) A person of eccentric appearance or dress.
    • 1845, Henry Cockton, The Love Match, W.M. Clark, p. 77:
      “Why don’t you be a nob at once,” cried Tompkins, “and have a pair of black silk stockin’s to go in!”
      “Black silk stockin’s! I ain’t got none. I never had a pair in my life!”
      “You can get a pair, can’t you?”
      “What’ll they stand me in?”
      “Oh, not much! But what’s the hodds to you?”
      “But shan’t I look a guy?”
      “Not a bit of it. Jist the very kick! You don’t ought to go in tops now yer son is sich a gen’elman. Have a pair, and look a leetle matters like his father.”
    • 1865, Margaret Oliphant, Miss Marjoribanks, Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, vol. 97, p. 316:
      I am always a perfect guy, whatever I wear, when I sit against a red curtain. You mean say that a woman always knows when she’s good-looking, but I am happy to say I know when I look a guy.
    • 1885, W. S. Gilbert, The Mikado, “As Some Day It May Happen”:
      And the lady from the provinces, who dresses like a guy,
      And who “doesn’t think she dances, but would rather like to try”;
      And that singular anomaly, the lady novelist —
      I don’t think she’d be missed — I’m sure she’d not be missed!
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 some varieties of US and Canadian English, you guys revives the distinction between a singular and plural you, much like y'all in other varieties; in this sense, guys is always gender-neutral.
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]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Old French guie.

Noun[edit]

guy ‎(plural guys)

  1. (obsolete, rare) A guide; a leader or conductor.
  2. (chiefly nautical) A support rope or cable used to guide, steady or secure something which is being hoisted or lowered.
  3. (chiefly nautical) 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).
Holonyms[edit]
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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]