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Old 11-28-2016, 07:34 AM   #1
Nezhul
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calling women "guys" question

So, for me the word "guys" is referring to multiple men.

But recently I saw a video where a women talks to two other young women, and calls them "guys". Like in "Are you guys ready?"

what's up with that? Am I misunderstanding the word, is it an American thing or what?
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Old 11-28-2016, 07:48 AM   #2
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You are understanding it correctly. Americans do commonly say "you guys" to refer to more than one person no matter their gender when speaking informally. In the south, they might say "you all" or "y'all". But saying "you guys" in a social setting is fairly common even when females are part or all of the group.

Oddly, though, I don't think we generally use "guys" to refer to groups of women; it's nearly always prefaced by "you" or "those".
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Old 11-28-2016, 08:25 AM   #3
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It is one of those vernacular expressions that would be understood but if the reader of a story is not American they might find it awkward.

For Literotica's international readership it is best avoided - unless you want to use it as an indicator of location or an Americanism.

Using words that cause a reader to say WTF? or grab a dictionary can throw them out of the story line.

A similar usage is older women referring to a group of friends as 'girls' when they are far too old to be girls. "The girls", or "Our girls" sounds wrong. It was current in the 1940s in the UK but obsolescent now.

Last edited by oggbashan : 11-28-2016 at 08:29 AM.
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Old 11-28-2016, 08:31 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quietlylooking View Post
You are understanding it correctly. Americans do commonly say "you guys" to refer to more than one person no matter their gender when speaking informally. In the south, they might say "you all" or "y'all". But saying "you guys" in a social setting is fairly common even when females are part or all of the group.
Same in Australia. In my experience, "guys" tends to be unisex when addressing people ("hey guys", "you guys") but otherwise it usually implies male. So "I was out with the guys" would usually mean male company.

If a woman's referred to as "one of the guys", it means she's fitting in with a mostly-male group.

Singular "guy" is male.

(A guy is also a tent-rope but there's usually no risk of confusion there.)
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Old 11-28-2016, 10:52 AM   #5
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Old 11-28-2016, 01:11 PM   #6
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Hmm.. yes, it is an American thing, but other Anglophones copy it, so even outside the US you'd find girls referring to a group of girls as 'guys'.

To me personally, a girl calling her girls 'girls' feel very... girly. Like they're all wearing pink head to toe with sparkly nails and squealing 'oooh 70% off, let's go girls!'
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Old 11-28-2016, 01:43 PM   #7
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To me personally, a girl calling her girls 'girls' feel very... girly. Like they're all wearing pink head to toe with sparkly nails and squealing 'oooh 70% off, let's go girls!'
Something wrong with that?
If you ask me, there's nothing wrong when girls act girly. It's worse when they act like "bros" in skirts.
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Old 11-28-2016, 01:45 PM   #8
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"Guys" seems to be the chosen word by wait staff in our region. My wife always makes a negative comment. The female version should be "ladies," not "girls," shouldn't it?
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Old 11-28-2016, 01:49 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Nezhul View Post
Something wrong with that?
If you ask me, there's nothing wrong when girls act girly. It's worse when they act like "bros" in skirts.
Here in the US, we have all kinds of girls and they're all awesome.

As you can see by the responses, "guys" is very context dependent. "Girls" seems to be the female equivalent, but I don't always use that when referring to a group of women. "Going out with the girls" or "girls' night out" is correct, but I would probably say "Hey, guys" if addressing the group in person.
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Old 11-28-2016, 01:50 PM   #10
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Why not "guys and gals"?
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Old 11-28-2016, 02:27 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sr71plt View Post
"Guys" seems to be the chosen word by wait staff in our region. My wife always makes a negative comment. The female version should be "ladies," not "girls," shouldn't it?
Again it is context dependent. As I understand it the term 'girls' is used by one of the group describing the group. If used by an outsider, or by a man, it could be derogatory.

It can be nearly as complex as the Australian use of the word bastard. "You lucky bastard"; "That's a right bastard"; etc...
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Old 11-28-2016, 02:35 PM   #12
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I'm trying to bring back 'dude' as a gender-neutral thing to call someone.
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Old 11-28-2016, 03:03 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oggbashan View Post
It can be nearly as complex as the Australian use of the word bastard. "You lucky bastard"; "That's a right bastard"; etc...
Americans use this term in the same opposing contexts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruel2BKind
I'm trying to bring back 'dude' as a gender-neutral thing to call someone.
But it's not...that's why you have the feminine: dudette.
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Old 11-28-2016, 03:29 PM   #14
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My partner and I, both in our late 60s (but well preserved), are amused when a young waitress in a country eatery addresses us as 'guys' or 'kids'. "You kids just come over here, now," sets us giggling. The same waitress tells a cluster of older gals, "I'll have a table for you guys in just a minute". I think it's a social-generational thang.
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Old 11-28-2016, 03:55 PM   #15
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My partner and I, both in our late 60s (but well preserved), are amused when a young waitress in a country eatery addresses us as 'guys' or 'kids'. "You kids just come over here, now," sets us giggling. The same waitress tells a cluster of older gals, "I'll have a table for you guys in just a minute". I think it's a social-generational thang.
I'm a few years younger and commonly use "guys" to refer to groups of women. I usually don't refer to women as "girls," and would expect them to be mildly insulted if I did.

I've always liked "dolls," but rarely use it; it's dated and for me only useful as a term of affection, as when referring to my daughters.
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Old 11-28-2016, 04:14 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NotWise View Post
I'm a few years younger and commonly use "guys" to refer to groups of women. I usually don't refer to women as "girls," and would expect them to be mildly insulted if I did.

I've always liked "dolls," but rarely use it; it's dated and for me only useful as a term of affection, as when referring to my daughters.
Then there is the lady down the road who likes to 'let the girls out.'

The first time, I figured her little dogs but boy was I wrong. Off came the blouse and bra. I might not have been scratching them behind the ears but she seemed to enjoy it.
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Old 11-28-2016, 04:19 PM   #17
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QuietlyLooking is absolutely correct. Here's one way to differentiate: Preceded by YOU, guys is gender neutral. Preceded by THE, it implies male gender. 'You Guys' is interchangeable with 'Y'all' now. There was a time when 'You Guys' indicated a person was either from the East Coast, around Boston. It spread quickly and was incorporated to lingo west of the Rockies. Now, it is accept virtually all across America.
It is accepted to call older women, 'girls', but 'ladies' is preferable. Ironically, 'dude' which once implied male in the sixties/seventies, is making a comeback as gender neutral. 'Dude' was an old, negative term prior to the hippie era. Dudette gained minor popularity in the eighties due to the "Smurfs" but faded quickly. You'll find younger people today prefer terms like You Guys because they are accepted as genderless.
* what I meant to say was 'either from east coast or west coast.

Last edited by holliday1960 : 11-28-2016 at 04:21 PM. Reason: correction
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Old 11-28-2016, 05:19 PM   #18
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Why not "guys and gals"?
Two extra syllables. People love to compress language.

It also emphasises a distinction between those two groups, ("my male friends and also my female friends") which may not be desired by the speaker. A single unisex word avoids that, although not everybody accepts "guys" as unisex so it's not a perfect solution.
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Old 11-28-2016, 05:30 PM   #19
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I'm a few years younger and commonly use "guys" to refer to groups of women. I usually don't refer to women as "girls," and would expect them to be mildly insulted if I did.
IME it's contextual. "Girls" can be taken as belittling, so it's more likely to be acceptable if used in circumstances that prevent that interpretation. A male speaker using "girls" for women junior to him is more likely to give offence than a female speaker talking about women her own age or older.
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Old 11-28-2016, 05:54 PM   #20
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I don't understand the offensiveness of it, really.
Probably if a man is talking to much older women - that I can get. But to women of ecual age or younger - what's so bad about it?

The only general thing I see is you would say 'girls' only if you have a close relationship or want to pass the phrase as very light talk. You wouldn't say that to your boss or any other women who you need to treat with explicit respect - for them the word 'ladies' is appropriate.
But to equals, as a part of small talk - why not?
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Old 11-28-2016, 06:10 PM   #21
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I presume it's resented by some women because it paternalistic, male centric ("guys"). It would be a little hard to argue that it wasn't. Many men aren't bothered by it because, well, they are men.
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Old 11-28-2016, 07:20 PM   #22
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I presume it's resented by some women because it paternalistic, male centric ("guys"). It would be a little hard to argue that it wasn't. Many men aren't bothered by it because, well, they are men.
I wasn't clear earlier, but I was describing usage as I've observed it, not my own preferences. For myself, I tend to agree with you, and I try to avoid unisex "guys" though occasionally I slip up.
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Old 11-28-2016, 07:25 PM   #23
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I wasn't clear earlier, but I was describing usage as I've observed it, not my own preferences. For myself, I tend to agree with you, and I try to avoid unisex "guys" though occasionally I slip up.
If I were to use "guys" in general, my wife would give me the evil eye. so, I admit that I do it occasionally just to get the evil eye.
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Old 11-28-2016, 10:07 PM   #24
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When I waited tables, "folks" was the generally accepted form of address for a mixed group of people.
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Old 11-28-2016, 10:32 PM   #25
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When I waited tables, "folks" was the generally accepted form of address for a mixed group of people.
I thought it was past time for a woman to say something.

I also like "y'all" but that's US English and largely limited to the southeast and mid-continent--so far.
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