Boy - Non-function Specific Analogous Terms

Non-function Specific Analogous Terms

Boys, in the strict or a wider sense, are often informally referred to by analogous or metaphorical terms. The literal connotations, which may be ironic or downright pejorative, have often been eroded by common use. Some terms are unisex, with or without (at least historical) preponderance of use for boys:

  • Cub, pup(py) and whelp compare boys to the young of predatory animals, the slang tadpole even to that of an amphibian;
  • Buck, another animal young, usually refers to a sexually adventurous male youngster
  • Loon, originally an (idle) lout, has got -mainly in Scotland- unrelated specific meanings, including boy, simpleton and looney person
  • Sprout compares to a plant's young shoots
  • References to the boy's generally lighter physique than a man include stripling 'slender youth' and -rather insulting- slang like half-pint or small-fry
  • More specifically, shaveling (or in slang shaver) refers to boys' lesser hair growth than men's before - and densification around puberty
  • Various terms refer to children's, often especially boys', lack of adult manners (e.g. "snot(ty) nose(d) (kid)") or to often mischievous behavior, e.g. "rascal", also by analogy with animals, e.g. "monkey", "urchin" (as 'prickly' as a hedgehog); "(spoiled) brat" refers to such undiscipline for lack of firm upbringing.
  • Furthermore, common boys' names have also been used metonymically to stand for boys and/or men in general, as in 'every Dick and Tom'.

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Famous quotes containing the words terms, analogous and/or specific:

    I had a long day’s work, starting at eight in the morning and ending after nine at night, but in those days [we] ... did not think of our day in terms of hours. We liked our work, we were proud to do it well, and I am afraid that we were very, very happy.
    Louie Mayer (b. c. 1914)

    If thinking is like perceiving, it must be either a process in which the soul is acted upon by what is capable of being thought, or a process different from but analogous to that. The thinking part of the soul must therefore be, while impassable, capable of receiving the form of an object; that is, must be potentially identical in character with its object without being the object. Mind must be related to what is thinkable, as sense is to what is sensible.
    Aristotle (384–322 B.C.)

    Patriotism is proud of a country’s virtues and eager to correct its deficiencies; it also acknowledges the legitimate patriotism of other countries, with their own specific virtues. The pride of nationalism, however, trumpets its country’s virtues and denies its deficiencies, while it is contemptuous toward the virtues of other countries. It wants to be, and proclaims itself to be, “the greatest,” but greatness is not required of a country; only goodness is.
    Sydney J. Harris (1917–1986)