girl (n.)

14世纪 , gyrle "孩子,年轻人"(男女均可,但最常见的是女性),来源不明。一种猜测[OED]倾向于一个未记录的古英语 *gyrele ,来自于原日耳曼语 *gurwilon-*gurwjoz 的缩略语(显然也代表了低德文 gære "男孩,女孩",挪威方言 gorre ,瑞典方言 gurre "小孩子",虽然确切的关系,如果有的话,所有这些之间的关系是模糊的),来自于PIE *ghwrgh- ,也发现在希腊语 parthenos "处女"。但这涉及到一些令人反对的语言学。Liberman(2008)写道:

Girl does not go back to any Old English or Old Germanic form. It is part of a large group of Germanic words whose root begins with a g or k and ends in r. The final consonant in girl is a diminutive suffix. The g-r words denote young animals, children, and all kinds of creatures considered immature, worthless, or past their prime.

另一个候选词是古英语 gierela "garment"(关于这个理论中可能的意义演变,比较 brat )。以前的民间词源学从拉丁文 garrulus "喋喋不休,滔滔不绝"衍生而来,现在被抛弃了。和 boylasslad 一样,它的来源多少有些模糊。"大概大部分都是作为原本意义不同的词的玩笑式转移使用而产生的"[OED]。"女娃"的具体含义是14世纪末 自15世纪中叶起应用于"任何年轻的未婚女子"。"甜心"的含义是1640年代的。 Old girl 在指任何年龄的妇女时,从1826年开始有记载。 Girl next door 作为一种不张扬的吸引力,到1953年有记载(20世纪福克斯公司一部由June Haver主演的电影的片名)。

Doris [Day] was a big vocalist even before she hit the movies in 1948. There, as the latest movie colony "girl next door," sunny-faced Doris soon became a leading movie attraction as well as the world's top female recording star. "She's the girl next door, all right," said one Hollywood admirer. "Next door to the bank." [Life magazine, Dec. 22, 1958]

Girl Friday "足智多谋的年轻女助手"出自1940年,是对"鲁滨逊-克鲁索"的引用。 Girl Scout 是来自1909年。通常的古英语单词,见 maiden

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Definitions of girl from WordNet

girl (n.)
a young female;
Synonyms: miss / missy / young lady / young woman / fille
girl (n.)
a youthful female person;
the girls were just learning to ride a tricycle
the baby was a girl
Synonyms: female child / little girl
girl (n.)
a female human offspring;
Synonyms: daughter
girl (n.)
a girl or young woman with whom a man is romantically involved;
Synonyms: girlfriend / lady friend
girl (n.)
a friendly informal reference to a grown woman;
Mrs. Smith was just one of the girls