Named after Guy Fawkes (1570–1606), an English Catholic executed for his role in the Gunpowder Plot, from Old French Gui, a form of Proto-Germanic *Wido, a short form of names beginning with the element witu "wood" from Proto-Germanic *widuz, such as Witold and Widukind. Cognate with Italian Guido.
guy (plural guys)
- (Britain) An effigy of a man burned on a bonfire on the anniversary of the Gunpowder Plot (5th November).
- (dated) A person of eccentric appearance or dress; a "fright".
- 1845, Henry Cockton, The Love Match, W.M. Clark, p. 77:
- “But shan’t I look a guy?”
- “Not a bit of it. Jist the very kick!”
- 1865, Margaret Oliphant, Miss Marjoribanks, Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, vol. 97, p. 316:
- I am always a perfect guy, whatever I wear, when I sit against a red curtain. You mean say that a woman always knows when she’s good-looking, but I am happy to say I know when I look a guy.
- 1885, W. S. Gilbert, The Mikado, “As Some Day It May Happen”:
- And the lady from the provinces, who dresses like a guy,
- And who “doesn’t think she dances, but would rather like to try” […].
- 1978, Jane Gardam, God on the Rocks, Abacus 2014, p. 138:
- Why are you so ashamed that her child saw you looking a guy, sprawled on the floor, spilling cakes?
- 1845, Henry Cockton, The Love Match, W.M. Clark, p. 77:
- (colloquial) A man, fellow.
- Synonyms: dude, fella, homey, bro, bloke, chap; see also Thesaurus:man
- Coordinate terms: gal, broad, dame, girl, jane, woman, bird, chick
- 1873, ‘Mark Twain’, The Gilded Age:
- “You don't say so? I thought he was some guy from Pennsylvania.”
- 2007, Manook Sarkisyan, Jack and the Journey through Time, page 219:
- "Hi, guys. Did you have a fun time at school?" said Katherine.
- "Yeah we did," said Stacy.
- 2014, Joel Williamson, Elvis Presley: A Southern Life:
- She was one of the guys, but they were also very much aware that she was an attractive young woman.
- 2016, Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett, The Guardian, 9 March:
- Let’s be honest. “Have I kissed too many guys?” is not a question that mature, sexually active women are likely to be asking Google.
- (especially in the plural) A person (see usage notes).
- 2009, Carole McCaskill, WHAT COLOR IS MY RIBBON? : An Ovarian Cancer Success Story:
- My “Guys” actually constitute a collection of people that range from my nearest and dearest girlfriends, my immediate and extended family, co-workers and acquaintances that care.
- 2010, Meg Blackburn Losey, The Secret History of Consciousness: Ancient Keys to our Future Survival:
- My “guys,” as I call the group, are loving and hilarious, serious and the epitome of love. They are both male and female in their presence and have never had the experience of inhabiting a physical body—they are beings of light.
- (colloquial, usually to animals) character, personality (not referring to a person, but pretending to)
- The dog's left foreleg was broken, poor little guy.
- This guy, here, controls the current, and this guy, here, measures the voltage.
- This guy is the partial derivative of that guy with respect to x.
- 2011, Richard S. Stripp Sr., Mommy, I Wish I Could Tell You What They Did To Me In School Today:
- I just want to play with my guys. My guys are my friends, they're stuffed animals or little action figures I have a lot of them.
- (informal, term of address) Buster, Mack, fella, bud, man.
- Hey, guy, give a man a break, would ya?
- In plural, guys may not be completely gender-neutral, but it may refer to people of any gender in some circumstances and forms; the greeting “Hey guys”, or any vocative utterance, can generally refer to people of any gender. Referring to a group as “guys” often means a group of men or a mixed-gender group, though usage among American youth may even refer to groups of only women.
- When used of animals, guy usually refers to either a male or one whose gender is not known; it is rarely if ever used of an animal that is known to be female. The matching term for a female is gal.
- In some varieties of US and Canadian English, you guys revives the distinction between a singular and plural you, much like y'all or yous in other varieties; in this sense, guys may be used for groups of any combination of genders. Cf. usage notes at you guys.
- (intransitive) To exhibit an effigy of Guy Fawkes around the 5th November.
- (transitive) To make fun of, to ridicule with wit or innuendo.
- 1905, Edward S. Ellis, Deerfoot in The Mountains:
- The dusky hunters "guyed" the palefaces who could not do as well as they with their primitive weapons, even though the fire spouted from the iron tubes and the balls that could not be seen by the eye carried death farther than did the missiles launched by the natives.
- 2003, Roy Porter, Flesh in the Age of Reason, Penguin 2004, p. 278:
- Swift and other satirists mercilessly guyed the unlettered self-importance of the peddlars of such soul-food, exposing their humility and self-laceration as an egregious and obnoxious form of self-advertisement (s'excuser, c'est s'accuser).
- 2006, Clive James, North Face of Soho, Picador 2007, p. 187:
- Terry Kilmartin [...], applauded for every ‘um’ and ‘ah’, knew that he was being guyed and had the charm to make it funny.
- (theater, transitive) To play in a comedic manner.
- 2000, John Southworth, Shakespeare the Player:
- To guy the speech in the manner of an old-fashioned 'ham' for cheap laughs....
- (obsolete, rare) A guide; a leader or conductor.
- (chiefly nautical) A support rope or cable used to aid in hoisting or lowering.
- (chiefly nautical) A support to secure or steady structures prone to shift their position or be carried away (e.g. the mast of a ship or a suspension bridge).
- (nautical): cordage
- guy at OneLook Dictionary Search
- guy in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911
- (informal, chiefly Netherlands) guy
Related to buy (“baobab fruit”).
guy (definite form guy gi)