Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A high-spirited, boisterous, or saucy girl.
  • adj. High-spirited; boisterous.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A rude, uncultured or rowdy girl or woman.
  • adj. Like a hoyden: high-spirited and boisterous; saucy, tomboyish.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Same as hoiden.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • See hoiden.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a girl who behaves in a boyish manner

Etymologies

From earlier hoyden, a rude youth, probably from Dutch heiden, heathen, boor, from Middle Dutch; see kaito- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Probably from Middle Dutch heiden, from Germanic heidano ‘heathen, gypsy’. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Although you acknowledge that "references to demons, poltergeists, and other unpleasant spiritual beings" are a matter of concern in the first edition, you excuse references to fairies, gnomes and medieval life, as well as "the occasional use of words such as hoyden and ribald," in later editions.

    I will spue thee out of my mouth

  • Condemn Saxon's references to fairies, gnomes, and medieval life and the use of words like "hoyden" and "ribald" just like you condemned references to poltergeists in the first edition.

    I will spue thee out of my mouth

  • If a girl does not conform, she is defined as a "hoyden" or a "tomboy."

    Human Traits and their Social Significance

  • Just what turrible transgression did you commit, you wee wicked hoyden?

    The Devil Wears Plaid

  • God grant I live long enough to buy that Scottish hoyden a decent number of petticoats and at least one pair of slippers.

    Much Ado About Marriage

  • Now she just hoped no one saw her running like a hoyden with her skirts bunched around her knees.

    Shameless

  • But against that I argue that the vulgar, cracker-voiced hoyden of Washing-ton was as unlike the high-bred frigid midget of Greystones as could be.

    THE NUMBERS

  • They gave way, therefore, with meekness to her domineering temper, though it was not the less tyrannical, that in her maiden state of hoyden-hood, she had been to some of them an object of slight and of censure; and Lady Binks had not forgotten the offences offered to Miss Bonnyrigg.

    Saint Ronan's Well

  • Mom in Hot Seat, Pt. 2Eager as people are to sniff out trashiness whenever Britney Spears makes the news -- doesn't this hoyden know her place?

    Newsmakers: Mandy Moore, Britney Spears

  • She that will not feel my ful-moon let her peel to thee as the hoyden and the impudent!

    Finnegans Wake

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Comments

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  • Vexample: "Is hoyden a dictionary word, or not?" — The New Girl at St. Chad's A Story of School Life

    November 21, 2009

  • This word may be related, etymologically, to heathen. Very interesting.

    May 28, 2009

  • This word is best spoken in a Jerry Lewis voice.

    May 28, 2009

  • "Mary was a little hoyden, and Fred at six years old thought her the nicest girl in the world making her his wife with a brass ring which he had cut from an umbrella."

    - George Eliot, Middlemarch

    February 20, 2008

  • Dear creature!-- Did she never romp? Did she never from girlhood to now, hoyden?

    Lovelace to Belford, Clarissa by Samuel Richardson

    December 13, 2007