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boy (n.)

13世纪中叶, boie “仆人, 平民, 恶棍” (一般是年轻的男性); 14世纪, “流氓, 无赖, 恶棍; 顽童”, 14世纪中叶为“青春期前的男孩子” (可能是“顽童” 的延伸义). 一词源不明.

可能来自古法语 embuie “被束缚的人”, 来自古拉丁语 *imboiare, 来自拉丁语 boia “腿铁, 枷锁, 皮领”, 来自希腊语 boeiai dorai “牛皮”. (“男孩” 的词在整个印欧语系的地图上都兼作“仆人, 随从” --比较意大利语 ragazzo, 法语 garçon, 希腊语 pais, 中古英语 knave, 古教会斯拉夫语 otroku --往往很难说出哪个意思在先).

但它似乎也与东弗里斯兰语 boi “年轻的绅士” 相同, 也许与荷兰语 boef “knave” 相同, 来自中荷兰语 boeve, 也许来自中低德语 buobe. 这表明与 babe 有着渐进关系. 对于不同的猜测. 在中古英语中, “knave” 被轻描淡写地用于指年轻男子, 同时也是人们熟悉的或轻蔑地用于指犯罪分子或军队中的男子. 在一些地方使用“一个人,” 没有参考年龄(OED列出“在康沃尔, 在爱尔兰, 在美国的远西部” ). 意思是“任何年龄的男性黑奴或亚裔私人仆人”, 从17世纪开始被证实. 扩展形式 boyo 是1870年的证明. 强调性感叹词 oh, boy 是由1917年证明的. Boy-meets-girl “典型的传统浪漫主义” 是1945年的, 这句话本身是1934年的, 作为一个戏剧性的公式. Boy-crazy “热衷于与男性交往” 出自1923年.

In Old English, only the proper name Boia has been recorded. ME boi meant 'churl, servant' and (rarely) 'devil. ' In texts, the meaning 'male child' does not antedate 1400. ModE boy looks like a semantic blend of an onomatopoeic word for an evil spirit (*boi) and a baby word for 'brother' (*bo). [Liberman]

A noticable number of the modern words for 'boy', 'girl', and 'child' were originally colloquial nicknames, derogatory or whimsical, in part endearing, and finally commonplace. These, as is natural, are of the most diverse, and in part obscure, origin. [Buck]

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Definitions of boy from WordNet

boy (n.)
a youthful male person;
she made the boy brush his teeth every night
most soldiers are only boys in uniform
the baby was a boy
Synonyms: male child
boy (n.)
a friendly informal reference to a grown man;
he likes to play golf with the boys
boy (n.)
a male human offspring;
his boy is taller than he is
Synonyms: son
From wordnet.princeton.edu