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"Dude" and "Guy" (Feb 3rd)
Usage of a word describing a male also for females
Topic Rating: 0 (0 votes) 
2014/03/02
3:05am
udo
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I have found it interesting, that after the discussion about the usage of the word "dude", the caller said goodbye with: "Thanks a lot, guys".    
So the caller addressed both, Martha and Grant , as a "guy" each. (?)

Wasn't  the  word "guy" originally used only for males?   (like the british "bloke")

I thought, "guy" comes from the male given name "Guy" .   Wasn't in this case the original "guy"  "Guy Fawkes",  one of the "Gun-Powder-Plotters".?

So the similar question would be:   When & how did "guy" become also used for females.?

…or is it only used in the plural sense?  ("guys" = "you people",  like "gente" in Spanish)

This reminds me:  In some languages (e.g. Spanish, Portuguese) if there is a male and female form in the singular, only the male form is used in the plural.

Like in Portuguese "filho"(son), "filha" (daughter)  becomes "filhos" (sons and daughters = kids).

Is there a name for this "male-ification" of the plural?

 

2014/03/02
4:08am
polistra
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It's only in the plural.  Fairly recent.  I suspect it's been spread by Youtube where the universal greeting at the start of every personal or how-to clip is "Hi Guys!" 

(Sidenote: "Hi Guys" is the only English phrase that has standard tones.  Hi is always on G, Guys is always on E.)

You're right in connecting it to people or gente or leute or люди.  It's a plural that doesn't really have a singular.

2014/03/03
3:56am
Robert
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This sounds like a fair survey by Glenn.

 

Might add another observation:  parents will call their children "you guys,"  and some children will call their parents "you guys."   But the group so called will never be a mixed group of  parents and children.   I could be wrong.

2014/03/03
2:27pm
tx aggie c
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As a female in a male dominated career, I have proposed for the last several years (at least since 2000), that guys was generic enough to include women in the bunch. I did however make a point to someone who sent out a meeting invitation addressed to "Gentlemen", that I felt that meant I didn't have to go to that meeting.

2014/03/03
4:45pm
Glenn
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For a single word for gentlemen and gentlewomen we could bring back the archaic gender-neutral collective Gentles.

Dear Gentles,

2014/03/04
7:17pm
deaconB
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Are there ANY male vocational terms left?

Secretary used to a male job, but by the 1950s, a guy applying for a secretarial positi0n was presumed to be a pansy, and similarly, a fellow going to nursing school. These days, even most sex-symbol actresses call themselves  actors.

"Pansy"is not intended to insult anyone, but is a term which reflects the abuse which fell on these pioneers in the GLBT freedom movement.

 

2014/03/05
3:47am
Glenn
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Gigolo? Pope? King? I'm afraid I am not destined to any of these professions.

2014/03/06
11:10am
faresomeness
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Sperm-donor? House-husband? 

2014/03/08
12:37pm
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It's notable that 'guy' referred originally to the garishly-dressed and -painted effigy of Guy Fawkes on his Day; this is the meaning of W.S. Gilbert's reference in "The Mikado" to 'The lady from the provinces/Who dresses like a guy'.

The term 'dude' also supposedly started as a pejorative, either from a German word for 'fool' or from 'doodle', referring to a macaronic (garishly-dressed and foppish) young man…who sounds like a 'guy'.

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