Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A girl who behaves in a way that is perceived to be stereotypically boyish or masculine.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A rude, boisterous boy.
  • noun A wild, romping girl; a hoyden.
  • noun A worthless woman; a strumpet.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun colloq. A romping girl; a hoiden.

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

  • noun A girl who behaves in a typically boyish manner.

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

  • noun a girl who behaves in a boyish manner

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

First attested in 1553 when it originally meant a “boisterous boy”, later in 1579 when it came to mean an “immodest woman”, and then finally in 1592 it developed its modern meaning of a “girl who acts like a boy”; from Tom, familiar form of Thomas + boy, “male child”.

Examples

  • I think it clearly sends a message - intended or not - that certain activities are girl-like and others are boy-like and that a "tomboy" is acting like a boy, rather than a non-doll playing, sports-loving, and/or tree - climbing girl. rock doctor: Your paleontologist Barbie is probably a collector's item!

    Space Camp Barbie

  • Ms. Le Pen was dubbed a tomboy by her sisters, but as a student she emulated her father's bon-vivant style, frequenting chic Parisian nightclubs.

    In the Name Of the Father

  • High School Debut - Kazune Kawahara (manga) "Haruna, a tomboy, is determined to change her stripes when she enters high school, but is sadly lacking in fashion or social sense, so she recruits cute upperclassman Yo to instruct her on how to make herself more appealing to boys."

    The Plight of Tomboys

  • Malone: Betty Jean has often been described as a tomboy, which is accurate, but I mostly think of her as very eager to please, to fit in and be like the other girls because she knows she's just not.

    Playbill.com : News

  • Her clothes - black T-shirts and jeans to fit a style Kimberly describes as "tomboy" - still hang in the closet.

    The Orange County Register - News Headlines : Top Stories

  • Her clothes - black T-shirts and jeans to fit a style Kimberly describes as "tomboy" - still hang in the closet.

    The Orange County Register - News Headlines : Top Stories

  • As a child I was far from what anyone would call a tomboy.

    Rowing the ATLANTIC

  • As a child I was far from what anyone would call a tomboy.

    Rowing the ATLANTIC

  • It just didn't cater to what some might call my tomboy nature.

    Archive 2007-06-01

  • It just didn't cater to what some might call my tomboy nature.

    The Future (of Communications) ain't what it used to be...

Comments

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  • tomgirl would have cut the mustard too

    November 7, 2009