The word "boy" comes from Middle English boi, boye ("boy, servant"), related to other Germanic words for boy, namely East Frisian boi ("boy, young man") and West Frisian boai ("boy").
Although the exact etymology is obscure, the English and Frisian forms probably derive from an earlier Anglo-Frisian *bō-ja ("little brother"), a diminutive of the Germanic root *bō- ("brother, male relation"), from Proto-Indo-European *bhā-, *bhāt- ("father, brother").
The members of a student fraternity can be called frat(ernity) boys, technically preferable to the pleonasm frat-bro(ther), and remain so for life as adults, after graduation.
Dar es salaam women dating
leerjongen 'learning boy' in Dutch) or lowest rank implying specific on the job training if promotion is to be obtained, as in kitchen boy.
Similarly schoolboy only applies to minors; the modern near-synonym pupil originally designated a minor in Roman law as being under a specific adult's authority, as in loco parentis.
Ongoing debates about the influences of nature versus nurture in shaping the behavior of girls and boys raises questions about whether the roles played by boys are mainly the result of inborn differences or of socialization.
Images of boys in art, literature and popular culture often demonstrate assumptions about gender roles.
The root is also found in Flemish boe ("brother"), Norwegian dialectal boa ("brother"), and, through a reduplicated variant *bō-bō-, in Old Norse bófi, Dutch boef "(criminal) knave, rogue", German Bube ("knave, rogue, boy").
Furthermore, the word may be related to Bōia, an Anglo-Saxon personal name.
In US urban slang, particularly in African American and Latino slang, the term boy is used with a possessive as meaning friend (my boy, his boys), presumably as a reduction of homeboy, originally a male from the same area.
In some cases, the word boy is used merely to designate the age of the (male) person, irrespective of the function, as in altar boy, a minor acting as liturgical acolyte, or in Boy Scouts, an organisation specifically for boys.
Conversely, it may feel uncomfortable to a male to be called a "boy" if he believes he has assumed the traditional roles of a "man".
In mother's/mama's boy, the word emphatically implies a male (minor or adult in years) who is too immature to be independent.
14 for boys, often set lower for girls) without being a legal adult yet, stems from a Latin word for boys only, itself named after the accompanying male body hair, pubes, on face and genital region.