Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Plural form of guy.
  • noun colloquial Persons, irrespective of their genders.
  • noun colloquial A form of address for a group of male persons or a group of mixed male and female persons.

Etymologies

Sorry, no etymologies found.

Examples

Comments

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  • In a feminist literature class I once took, I was told that in the broadest sense, there are no words that are not gender-specific. I see this word on TV referring to both sexes. Is this an exception that proves the rule?

    May 22, 2007

  • Not sure I understand the question. "Guy" is a slang term for a young man. I'd say that makes it pretty gender-specific. Though I'd think there are plenty of words that aren't... like, um, telephone or cauliflower...

    May 22, 2007

  • I think what my teacher meant was that writers, consciously or not, will use gender specific language to describe people or events. The recording of history has been particularly susceptible to bias (his-story).

    I think the plural "guys" is an example of a word that is becoming gender-neutral. Have you watched "Friends" on TV? characters of both sexes refer to the group as "guys", even when they are talking about women.

    May 23, 2007

  • Certainly words like mankind evoke gender bias, but what's so wrong with using people wherever you might use guys in your example? Isn't that equally neutral?

    May 23, 2007

  • I use "you guys" to refer to groups of men and women.

    May 23, 2007

  • Thanks for playing the Devil's Advocate, uselessness. It helps to clarify my muddled thinking! I'm really interested in word meanings that change over time; "guy" refers to a male but "guys" seems gender-neutral. It got me to thinking about my teachers comment. Can any word be truly gender-neutral?

    We had discussed semiotics is the science of interpreting signs and their codes (words) from a social and cultural perspective. A feminist branch of semiotics posits that all languages are patriarchal. Language springs from the male libido which names and classifies all things in order to bring them under conceptual control. Women have their own non-symbolic language which they pass on to their children. Unfortunately the knowledge of this language is lost to the infant who gradually learns the dominant symbolic language of the father.

    It's an interesting idea, and I'm not sure I'm fully in agreement, but it is certainly food for thought.

    According to feminist semioticans, "guys" can't be gender-neutral either. Oh well...

    May 23, 2007

  • Sounds like a pretty radical camp of semioticians. I can understand the idea that much of language was made by men, but to pass judgment on it for that reason is silly. Language is intrinsically valuable apart from its origins; we'd be lost without it. I doubt that the supposed female non-symbolic language would be of much practical use, unless it involves telepathy or something. ;-)

    I didn't mean to play devil's advocate, but this is the kind of stuff I'm deeply fascinated by and seldom get to talk about. So forgive me if it sounds like I'm trying to rebut, when I'm really just thinking aloud (via my keyboard).

    May 23, 2007

  • What?! You mean you *don't* know how to read our minds???

    May 24, 2007

  • Let me represent the men-folk for a second here. As cool as a race of telepathic superhumans would be, for example, a race of all women (as if), it's not going to happen. Just remember, ladies -- and radical feminist semioticians -- you NEED us. Biologically.

    May 24, 2007

  • parthenogenesis?

    May 24, 2007