boy

[ boi ]
/ bɔɪ /

noun

interjection Also oh, boy.

an exclamation of wonder, approval, etc., or of displeasure or contempt.

Origin of boy

1250–1300; Middle English boy(e), perhaps after Old English Bōia man's name; cognate with Frisian boi young man; akin to Old English bōfa, Old Norse bōfi, Old High German Buobo man's name (German Bube knave, (dial.) boy, lad)

Can be confused

boy buoy

Usage note

During the slavery and Jim Crow eras, white southerners would use the term boy to refer to or address a black adult male, implying that black people were inferior. In the meaning “native male servant,” boy was originally used in colonial territories and in the ports of China, Japan, etc., through which trade with foreign countries was permitted by special treaty.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for boy

British Dictionary definitions for boy

boy

/ (bɔɪ) /

noun


interjection

an exclamation of surprise, pleasure, contempt, etcboy, is he going to be sorry!

Word Origin for boy

C13 (in the sense: male servant; C14: young male): of uncertain origin; perhaps from Anglo-French abuié fettered (unattested), from Latin boia fetter
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Idioms and Phrases with boy

boy

In addition to the idiom beginning with boys

  • boys will be boys

also see:

  • fair-haired boy
  • mama's boy
  • separate the men from the boys
  • whipping boy

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.