Etymology
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lassie (n.)

"small girl, young girl," by 1725, Scottish diminutive of lass (n.) with -ie. Scott also has lassock (1816).

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sub-deb (n.)

"girl who will soon 'come out;'" hence, "girl in her mid-teens," 1917, from sub- + deb.

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girlish (adj.)

1560s, "like or befitting a girl," from girl + -ish. Related: Girlishly; girlishness.

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tomboy (n.)

1550s, "rude, boisterous boy," from Tom + boy; meaning "wild, romping girl, girl who acts like a spirited boy" is first recorded 1590s. It also could mean "strumpet, bold or immodest woman" (1570s). Compare tomrig "rude, wild girl." Related: Tomboyish.

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girly (adj.)

"girl-like," 1866, from girl + -y (2). Reduplicated form girly-girly (adj.) is recorded from 1883; as a noun from 1882.

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wench (n.)

late 13c., wenche "girl, young woman," especially if unmarried, also "female infant," shortened from wenchel "child," also in Middle English "girl, maiden," from Old English wencel, probably related to wancol "unsteady, fickle, weak," from Proto-Germanic *wankila- (source also of Old Norse vakr "child, weak person," Old High German wanchal "fickle"), from PIE *weng- "to bend, curve" (see wink (v.)).

The wenche is nat dead, but slepith. [Wyclif, Matthew ix.24, c. 1380]

In Middle English occasionally with disparaging suggestion, and secondary sense of "concubine, strumpet" is attested by mid-14c. Also "serving-maid, bondwoman, young woman of a humble class" (late 14c.), a sense retained in the 19c. U.S. South in reference to slave women of any age. In Shakespeare's day a female flax-worker could be a flax-wench, flax-wife, or flax-woman.

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romp (n.)

1734, "a piece of lively play," from romp (v.). From 1706 as "a wanton, merry, rude girl," in this sense perhaps a variant of ramp (n.2) suggested by the notion of "girl who indulges in boisterous play."

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chorine (n.)

"chorus girl," 1922, from chorus + fem. ending -ine.

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girly (n.)

"little girl," 1839, girlie; 1824, gurlie (in Scottish dialect), from girl + -y (3). Early uses in all spellings suggest it was regarded as a Scottish word. Another diminutive was girleen (1836) with an Irish ending.

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