Etymology
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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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tallboy (n.)
also tall-boy, "high-stemmed glass or goblet," 1670s, from tall + boy, though the exact signification is unclear. In reference to a high chest of drawers it is recorded from 1769, here perhaps a partial loan-translation of French haut bois, literally "high wood."
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playboy (n.)

1829, "wealthy bon vivant," from play (v.) + boy. As the name of a U.S.-based magazine for men, from December 1953. Earlier (1620s), play-boy meant "schoolboy actor." Fem. equivalent playgirl is recorded by 1934.

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buoy (n.)
"float fixed in a place to indicate the position of objects underwater or to mark a channel," late 13c., boie, probably from Old French buie or Middle Dutch boeye, both of which likely are from Proto-Germanic *baukna- "beacon, signal" (see beacon). OED and Century Dictionary, however, suggest it is from Middle Dutch boeie or Old French boie "fetter, chain" (see boy), "because of its being fettered to a spot."
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Peck's bad boy 

"unruly or mischievous child," 1883, from fictional character created by George Wilbur Peck (1840-1916).

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cowboy (n.)

1725, "boy who tends to cows and drives them to and from pasture," from cow (n.) + boy.

American-English sense of "man employed to have care of grazing cattle on the Great Plains for a stockman or ranch, doing his work on horseback" is by 1849. Earlier it was an insulting name for a band of marauding loyalists in the neighborhood of New York during the Revolution (1775). In figurative use by 1942 for "brash and reckless young man" (as an adjective meaning "reckless," from 1920s).

The oldest word for "one whose occupation is the care of cattle" is cowherd (late Old English). Cowhand is first attested 1852 in American English (see hand (n.)). Cowpoke (said to be 1881, not in popular use until 1940s) was said to be originally restricted to those who prodded cattle onto railroad cars with long poles. Cowboys and Indians as a children's game (imitating movie serials, etc.) is by 1941.

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girl (n.)

c. 1300, gyrle "child, young person" (of either sex but most frequently of females), of unknown origin. One guess [OED] leans toward an unrecorded Old English *gyrele, from Proto-Germanic *gurwilon-, diminutive of *gurwjoz (apparently also represented by Low German gære "boy, girl," Norwegian dialectal gorre, Swedish dialectal gurre "small child," though the exact relationship, if any, between all these is obscure), from PIE *ghwrgh-, also found in Greek parthenos "virgin." But this involves some objectionable philology. Liberman (2008) writes:

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.

Another candidate is Old English gierela "garment" (for possible sense evolution in this theory, compare brat). A former folk-etymology derivation from Latin garrulus "chattering, talkative" is now discarded. Like boy, lass, lad it is of more or less obscure origin. "Probably most of them arose as jocular transferred uses of words that had originally different meaning" [OED]. Specific meaning of "female child" is late 14c. Applied to "any young unmarried woman" since mid-15c. Meaning "sweetheart" is from 1640s. Old girl in reference to a woman of any age is recorded from 1826. Girl next door as a type of unflashy attractiveness is recorded by 1953 (the title of a 20th Century Fox film starring June Haver).

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 "resourceful young woman assistant" is from 1940, a reference to "Robinson Crusoe." Girl Scout is from 1909. For the usual Old English word, see maiden.

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scouting (n.)

1640s, "spying, reconnoitering," verbal noun from scout (v.1). In the sense of "the values or activities of Boy Scouts or the Boy Scout movement," from 1908.

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sonny (n.)
"small boy," 1833, from son + -y (3). As a familiar form of address to one younger or inferior, from 1852. The song "Sonny Boy" (Jolson) was popular 1928.
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ingle (n.2)
"boy favorite, catamite," 1590s, of uncertain origin.
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