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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've noticed few adult females refer to themselves as "women" unless they're in some sort of public arena arguing for gender equality. "Girl" seems to be the preferred term, even if the female in question is 40 years old. For males, the operative term is "guy" and sometimes "boy" if the speaker is under 25.<br><br><br><br>
And then there's the usage of "guys" to refer to mixed-gender groups. Even all-female groups at times.<br><br><br><br>
Meanwhile, respected press standards call for "woman" and "man" for a person over 18, and "girl" and "boy" for a person under 18.<br><br><br><br>
Do any of you have theories to explain this?
 

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It's a man's man's man's man's world, girls!<br><br><br><br>
ETA: Okay, to be fair, it looks like evolution of the English language.
 

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I always refer to males my age or younger as a kid if I don't know their names, while I would call a female in the same situation a girl. I don't know why I do this, and it bugs me every time I say it but I can't stop.<br><br><br><br>
'Guys' is gender-neutral to me. I guess it's because I'm up north and need some sort of substitute for y'all.<br><br><br><br>
This is interesting because I fight with these same problems in my writing. I have two protagonists, a fourteen-year-old female and a fifteen-year-old female, and I never know what to call them. I've caught myself using 'girl' and 'woman' in the same paragraph.<br><br><br><br>
I always call myself a woman, unless I'm using the word 'girl' for effect. I'm 4'11" and have spent my entire life correcting people who think I'm years younger than I am. I would never refer to myself as a girl and perpetuate that misconception. Now that I think about it, it's kind of weird that I won't call myself a girl, but I will call my friends girls.<br><br><br><br>
This is interesting. I think Amy's right and it is an evolution of the English language, but it's fascinating to really look at when and where we use those terms and when we don't. I'm going to think about this.
 

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I'd say that's just how slang is.<br><br><br><br>
For women it's pretty much the same around here, but any male whose name you don't know should be called "buddy". If there is more than one buddy in the vicinity a qualifier is added, based on some obvious factor, such as:<br><br>
-unusual choice of attire (buddy with the pants)<br><br>
-prominent physical features (buddy with the nose)<br><br>
-profession (buddy with the hors d'oeuvres)<br><br>
-location (buddy at the sink)<br><br>
-cumbersome personal effects (buddy with the box)<br><br>
-etc.<br><br><br><br>
A child cannot be "buddy" though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Qwerks</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I'd say that's just how slang is.<br><br><br><br>
For women it's pretty much the same around here, but any male whose name you don't know should be called "buddy". If there is more than one buddy in the vicinity a qualifier is added, based on some obvious factor, such as:<br><br>
-unusual choice of attire (buddy with the pants)<br><br>
-prominent physical features (buddy with the nose)<br><br>
-profession (buddy with the hors d'oeuvres)<br><br>
-location (buddy at the sink)<br><br>
-cumbersome personal effects (buddy with the box)<br><br>
-etc.<br><br><br><br>
A child cannot be "buddy" though.</div>
</div>
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Sounds like they've been using AIM a bit too much. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/wink3.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=";)">
 

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I just call everyone 'feller' to be really hip.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Qwerks</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
A child cannot be "buddy" though.</div>
</div>
<br><br><br>
I call my kid "buddy" all the time. A lot of people do that.
 

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I call kids "sunshine", "buttercup", or "squirt."<br><br><br><br>
I call most adults "sunshine", "buttercup", or "cha-cha."<br><br><br><br>
I call some women **edited**, **edited**, and of course, **edited**.<br><br><br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/pimp.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":tame:">
 

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man... I thought you saved **edited** just for me.<br><br><br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/sad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":(">
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Tame</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I call kids "sunshine", "buttercup", or "squirt."<br><br><br><br>
I call most adults "sunshine", "buttercup", or "cha-cha."<br><br><br><br>
I call some women **edited**, **edited**, and of course, **edited**.<br><br><br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/pimp.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":tame:"></div>
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isnt that derroggatory?!
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>flipper</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
isnt that derroggatory?!</div>
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you are obviously new.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/dozey.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":tired:">
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Marie</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I call my kid "buddy" all the time. A lot of people do that.</div>
</div>
<br><br><br>
Yep, I call my male rats "buddy" constantly, and I also use it for my female cat occasionally. Kind of a creepy, unintentional habit I have is to call my boyfriend "buddy" as well... it's usually with a pinch of sarcasm, though as in, "good job, buddy" when he makes a mistake or "hey buddy, you ready to go?" when he's taking forever, etc... I call my co-workers and sales associates (regardless of sex) "buddy" for the same reasons.<br><br><br><br>
Back to topic, I will use "lady" before I use "woman"... to me, it just sounds too stuffy in situations where you're not required to be super proper. On the same note, I will use "gentleman" before "man" for the same reason.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>skylark</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I've noticed few adult females refer to themselves as "women" unless they're in some sort of public arena arguing for gender equality. "Girl" seems to be the preferred term, even if the female in question is 40 years old. For males, the operative term is "guy" and sometimes "boy" if the speaker is under 25.<br><br><br><br>
And then there's the usage of "guys" to refer to mixed-gender groups. Even all-female groups at times.<br><br><br><br>
Meanwhile, respected press standards call for "woman" and "man" for a person over 18, and "girl" and "boy" for a person under 18.<br><br><br><br>
Do any of you have theories to explain this?</div>
</div>
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I'm gay so I don't even like to be called a "girl" since it sounds like I am young and immature... woman sounds more appropriate, and I appreciate "guys" as to indicate a group of people together, no matter if they're all male, female, or combined... "hey you guys" = ok with me<br><br>
I don't know why. "Young man" sounds like a minor's title and "boy" sounds like an under 12-year old's title... as does "young woman" and "girl"... I think woman should be like by 20 years old... I really have no clue! It's a very good consideration though.<br><br><br><br>
Man i just had this intense craving for pickles just now....<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/guitarist.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":guitar:">
 

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Girl or woman, I don't mind what you call me. Girl to me is not necessarily immature, it's just a slang term for a female. I use girl and woman at about the same frequency. Boy or man for a male, I'm happy with either. Man or guy is my preferred, boy I only use if they are quite young, not necessarily under 18 but just young or immature. Guys (plural) is for a group of either sex or mixed gender, a guy on his own is always a male. I hate the term "mate" unless someone is really a mate of mine. "Honey" or "Honeychild" is reserved only for people I am very, very angry with or someone I somehow despise.<br><br><br><br>
No theories to explain this all that go deeper that regional dialects and slang
 

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I always refer to me & my friends as girls and guys. We're all 17/18ish and still kids really. When people refer to me as a "woman" or "lady" (usually only when I am a customer in shops and they don't know my name) it is a little strange to me. I don't feel mature enough for that. I feel like a kid.
 

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Sometimes it depends on the 'age' of the person using the terms. My Aunt, for instance, who is 81 still refers to my grown children (ages 25 - 31) as kids, such as for a holiday she will ask, 'are the kids coming?'.<br><br>
I use the term 'guys' as a collective term whether male or female.<br><br>
It depends on the situation. If a bunch of a women at work (we are all between 40-60) are going to to do something silly, it's 'hey you guys, come on!'.<br><br>
If we're going to the city to have dinner and see a play, we might refer to ourselves as 'ladies' or perhaps, 'girls night out.'<br><br>
I don't really have a preference to what term is used. It really depends on the person who is using the term and whether or not they are being respectful/disrespectful. Any term can sound derogatory if used with that intent.
 

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As others have said, it's just slang and what people have gotten used to.<br><br><br><br>
I'm surprised (and pleased) no one has envoked the specter of political correctness.
 

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I don't usually like being called girl. If I'm referring to a woman who's older than me (not by a couple of years, but by at least 10), I'll use the word lady. Like "there was a lady looking for you a few minutes ago" or "what's the name of that lady with the red shirt?"<br><br><br><br>
If it's someone my age, it's girl or guy for a male (I'm 25). It just doesn't seem like man/woman territory, for some reason.
 
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