Discussion Forum

Please consider registering

sp_LogInOut Log In sp_Registration Register

Register | Lost password?
Advanced Search

— Forum Scope —

— Match —

— Forum Options —

Minimum search word length is 4 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters

sp_Feed Topic RSS sp_TopicIcon
Topic Rating: 0 (0 votes) 
Forum Posts: 238
Member Since:
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Is it used for both sexes in vocatives only? I still see people using it to mean ‘a man’, as in ‘I was friends with mostly guys’, while I thought it had come to become gender-neutral.  

Forum Posts: 1719
Member Since:
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Its meaning is very sensitive to context at this point. Historically, it would refer pretty strictly to males. Now, there are some clear cases in which native speakers use it as a vocative to refer to either a mixed group or even a group of all women. Outside of the vocative, the examples are few and tend to be controversial. Many think such uses negate the women in the group.

Much like the vocative, many uses of “you guys” could easily be mixed or female. Ex. “Did you guys hear that Chris and Pat had a baby girl? Didn’t Quinn let you guys know?”

But it is still useful and used to refer specifically to males, sometimes in pointed distinction from the females. Ex. “We all went to my sister-in-law’s house, but the guys just watched the game in the back room.”

To non-native speakers, my advice to avoid trouble would be to use it only for males, but understand that it could refer to men and women, especially in the vocative.

Forum Timezone: America/Los_Angeles

Most Users Ever Online: 1147

Currently Online:
1 Guest(s)

Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)

Top Posters:

Heimhenge: 958

Ron Draney: 684

Bob Bridges: 680

deaconB: 624

RobertB: 489

Robert: 488

tromboniator: 447

Dick: 434

samaphore: 312

dilettante: 287

Member Stats:

Guest Posters: 611

Members: 3071

Moderators: 1

Admins: 5

Forum Stats:

Groups: 1

Forums: 1

Topics: 3392

Posts: 18011

Newest Members: mr_ochie, jayelgee, MrsDrSanders, CharleneTX, KimfrmKanada, hi.dee, RickLight, Bellevance, jkrosenbaum, Toni Caputo

Administrators: Martha Barnette: 820, Grant Barrett: 1445, EmmettRedd: 777, Glenn: 1719, timfelten: 0