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EnglishEdit

 
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Alternative formsEdit

EtymologyEdit

 
A group of girls in Sri Lanka.

From Middle English girle, gerle, gyrle (young person of either sex), of uncertain origin. Probably from Old English *gyrle, *gyrele, a diminutive form of Proto-Germanic *gurwijaz (compare North Frisian gör (girl), Low German Gör, Göre (child of either sex), German Göre (young child), dialectal Norwegian gorre, dialectal Swedish garre, gurre (small child)), from Proto-Indo-European *ǵʰer- (short)[1] (compare Old Irish gair (short), Ancient Greek χρεώ (khreṓ, need, necessity), χρήσθαι (khrḗsthai, to need), Sanskrit ह्रस्व (hrasva, short, small)).

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

girl (plural girls)

  1. A female child, adolescent, or young woman; by extension, a young female animal
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 4, in The Celebrity:
      No matter how early I came down, I would find him on the veranda, smoking cigarettes, or [] . And at last I began to realize in my harassed soul that all elusion was futile, and to take such holidays as I could get, when he was off with a girl, in a spirit of thankfulness.
    • 2006, Scott Pilgrim & the Infinite Sadness, volume 3 of Scott Pilgrim
      Scott: Hey, it's our 8-month anniversary.
      Envy: Really? I can't even believe you remember that stuff!
      Scott: Whoa, wait a second... Am I the girl in this relationship?
      Envy: You totally are!
    • 2006, Scott Pilgrim & the Infinite Sadness, volume 3 of Scott Pilgrim
      Todd: Envy.. You're my girl.
      Envy: Oh, Todd... Let's both be girls!! [Envy kicks Todd on the crotch]
    • 2013 July 19, Mark Tran, “Denied an education by war”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 189, number 6, page 1:
      One particularly damaging, but often ignored, effect of conflict on education is the proliferation of attacks on schools [] as children, teachers or school buildings become the targets of attacks. Parents fear sending their children to school. Girls are particularly vulnerable to sexual violence.
    Amanda is a girl of 16.
  2. Any woman, regardless of her age. (see usage notes)
  3. A female servant; a maid. (see usage notes)
  4. (uncommon, card games) A queen (the playing card.)
  5. (colloquial) A term of endearment. (see usage notes)
  6. One's girlfriend.
    • Edgar Rice Burroughs, The Girl from Hollywood
      There isn't any guy going to steal my girl!
    • 1996, Elizabeth Wong, Kimchee and Chitlins: A Serious Comedy about Getting Along, page 74:
      I took my girl to the cinema to watch your American movies.
  7. One's daughter.
    Your girl turned up on our doorstep.
  8. (Britain, dialect, obsolete) A roebuck two years old.
  9. (US, slang) Cocaine, especially in powder form.
    • 1969, Iceberg Slim, Pimp: The Story of My Life, Cash Money Content (2011), ISBN 9781451617139, page 43:
      She had taught me to snort girl, and almost always when I came to her pad, there would be thin sparkling rows of crystal cocaine on the glass top of the cocktail table.
    • 1977, Odie Hawkins, Chicago Hustle, Holloway House (1987), ISBN 0870673661, page 175:
      Elijah nodded congenially to the early evening regulars in the Afro Lounge, headed straight for the telephone hung midway between the mens and womens, his nose smarting from a couple thick lines of recently snorted girl.
    • 2005, K'wan, Hoodlum, St. Martin's Press (2005), ISBN 0312333080, page 185:
      After about an hour or two of half-ass sex and snorting girl, Honey was zoned out. [] She flexed her still numb fingers, trying to find a warmth that didn't seem to come. Cocaine always made her numb.
    • For more examples of usage of this term, see Citations:girl.

Usage notesEdit

  • (any woman, regardless of her age): Calling a grown woman a "girl" may be considered either a compliment or an insult, depending on context and sensibilities. In some cases, the term is used as a euphemism for virgin, to distinguish a female who has never engaged in sexual intercourse (a "girl") from one who has done so (and is a woman).

SynonymsEdit

Derived termsEdit

Look at pages starting with girl.

TranslationsEdit

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Webster's New World Dictionary of the American Language, s.v. "girl" (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2002).

VerbEdit

girl (third-person singular simple present girls, present participle girling, simple past and past participle girled)

  1. (transitive) To feminize or girlify.
    • 2005, Leerom Medovoi, Rebels: Youth and the Cold War Origins of Identity (page 293)
      Quite different is the way in which the tomboy girled the rebel narrative. In recent years, queer theorists have taken a deep interest in the tomboy as a prefigure for the butch dyke.
    • 2011, Stephanie Harzewski, Chick Lit and Postfeminism
      One can argue that the genre “yuppified” the popular romance novel or perhaps “girled” the not especially gender-specific concept of the young urban professional.

See alsoEdit

StatisticsEdit

Most common English words before 1923 in Project Gutenberg: wish · gone · times · #334: girl · during · several · either

AnagramsEdit