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tallboy

[ tawl-boi ]
/ ˈtɔlˌbɔɪ /
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noun
English Furniture.
  1. a chest of drawers supported by a low stand.Compare highboy.
  2. a chest-on-chest.
a tall chimney pot.
a tall-stemmed goblet.
a 16- or 24-ounce (454- or 680-gram) can containing a beverage, especially beer.
(initial capital letter)Military. a 12,000-pound (5400-kilogram) British bomb of World War II, designed to penetrate the target or plunge deep into the ground before detonating.
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Origin of tallboy

First recorded in 1670–80; tall + boy
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

ABOUT THIS WORD

What else does tallboy mean?

A tallboy refers to a larger can for a beverage, usually beer, that generally hold 16 or 24 ounces. The typical can in the U.S. is 12 ounces.

What are some variants of tallboy?

tall boy

What are some other words related to tallboy?

forty
six-pack
highboy
growler

Where does tallboy come from?

Tallboys probably make you think of a big can of beer you might pick up at a gas station or corner store, but the term actually has an older relationship to alcohol than you may have guessed.

In the late 1600s, a tallboy was a type of glass or goblet or big pot of wine. The larger-than-average-can-of-beer sense of tallboy, as you probably guessed, is much more recent. It’s recorded in the 1950s. These cans are comparatively tall, and boy is apparently is a playful way of referring to the manageably big object.

How is tallboy used in real life?

A typical can of beer in the United States holds 12 ounces. Any can larger than that, from 16 ounces on up is generally referred to as a tallboy for its thin, tall shape. This is how this word is used most often in the United States. People often buy tallboys one or two at a time at convenient stores, as opposed to ordering a pint at a bar or getting a six-pack.

Other large cans of beverages, such as soft drinks, energy drinks, or alcoholic seltzers, can also be referred to as tallboys, owing to their above-average size.

Also called a highboy, a tallboy is also the name for a type of large chest of drawers on legs. Historically these items of furniture were very beautiful and ornate. In Australia, the U.K., and elsewhere in the Commonwealth, a tallboy most likely refers to a tall chest of drawers.

One particularly famous Tallboy was a massive bomb used by the British in World War II; it was able to plunge into the ground before exploding. Like the cans and chest of drawers, it was named for its tall, slender shape.

More examples of tallboy:

“Trike drank a tallboy, sent the e-mail, and then went home.”
—Josh Cook, An Exaggerated Murder, 2015

“Legendary Hip-Hop artist Big Boi and Budweiser have tag-teamed for a limited-edition Big Boi Tall Boy 25 oz. can.”
—Shawn Grant, The Source, October 2019

How to use tallboy in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for tallboy

tallboy
/ (ˈtɔːlˌbɔɪ) /

noun
a high chest of drawers made in two sections and placed one on top of the other; chest-on-chest
a fitting on the top of a chimney to prevent downdraughts

Word Origin for tallboy

C18: from tall + boy
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
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