1846, U.S. colloquial for "spirited lad, young spark," supposedly from the Irish pronunciation of boy.
The Letter B Once Had A Much Longer NameThe letter B was part of the Phoenician alphabet more than 3000 years ago in 1000 BCE. At that time, the letter was called beth and looked a little different, but it made the sound of b and was second in the alphabet. The shape of the letter resembled the floor plan of a house, and the word beth meant “house.” This is pictured below. In Hebrew, the letter was called beth, bet, or bayt which also …
Foxy, Catty, Fishy: Are These Traits For Animals Or Humans?Catty It seems horribly unfair to adorable cats that catty is a human descriptor meaning “devious or spiteful” (and usually in reference to female behavior). What gives? The word cat has been around since the year 700. But then, in the Middle Ages, cat became one of the many offensive terms against women and was slang for “prostitute.” The association might have been made because …
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper