Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

girl Friday

noun, plural girl Fridays. Older Use: Sometimes Offensive.
  1. gal Friday.
Show More

Origin of girl Friday

First recorded in 1935–40; modeled on man Friday
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

assistant

British Dictionary definitions for girl friday

girl Friday

noun
  1. a female employee who has a wide range of duties, usually including secretarial and clerical work
Show More

Word Origin

C20: coined on the pattern of man Friday
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 girl friday

girl Friday

Also, gal Friday. An efficient and faithful female assistant, as in I'll have my girl Friday get the papers together. The expression plays on man Friday, a name for a devoted male servant or assistant. The name Friday comes from Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe, whose shipwrecked hero named the young native who became his faithful companion for the day of the week when he found him. In the mid-1900s Friday was applied to a male servant and then a women secretary or clerk who works for a man. The expression girl Friday gained currency through a motion picture starring Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell, His Girl Friday (1940). Today it tends to be considered condescending and, applied to a woman, sexist.

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