"Girl," "woman" and other words for adult female-type people.

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Post by reboot on Mon Jun 08, 2015 9:23 am

In writing I try to consistently use men/women for adults and girls/boys for kids. When speaking about strangers I do the same or stick with "people" if knowing gender is not important. Talking about friends or with friends, I will call a group I am with "guys" regardless of gender (e.g. hey guys let's go) and occasionally "ladies" (e.g. ladies, shall we?) if it is a predominantly female group.

In singular, I will use guy for men I know (e.g. he is such a cool guy) and person for women (e.g she is such a cool person) because woman/man sounds kind of weird to me in that context. I also use dude for everyone (dude, that is so cool) because I am old as is my slang.

If I use girls for anything other than a group of young human females, I am usually referring to female pets (e.g. X and I are going to take the girls on a walk, I hope the girls were not a pain while I was gone).

I do wish there was an equivalent to "guy" for something informal for women. Unfortunately when I hear "gal" and the speaker is not southern it is often being used sarcastically (e.g. she is quite a gal!). I am not fond of same or lady, but those are the least bad options I van think of.
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Post by Andrew Corvero on Mon Jun 08, 2015 10:34 am

This is an interesting linguistic fact about the English language: the lack of an informal word which is equivalent of "woman".

It's easier in other languages, I think. In Italian we have different words for "little girls/boys" (bambino/bambina, used from age 1 to roughly age 12-13) "adolescent boy/girl" (ragazzino/ragazzina, age 12 to 16-18) "young adult men/woman" (ragazzo/ragazza, it was once used for ages 16-18 to 25, now it's used up to 35-40) and also the formal terms for "man/woman" (uomo/donna).

There's also "giovane", which literally means "young" and it's used for people of both sexes at age 18-35, especially in its plural form "i giovani" ("the young ones").


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Post by BasedBuzzed on Tue Jun 09, 2015 9:32 pm

I go for brodette or dudette when referring to the fairer folk in third person, ma'am whenever talking to someone directly.

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