My War with the Word "Guys"

It’s such an easy word. It seems so innocuous at first, “guys.” After all, guys, we’re all included in that word, aren’t we? I mean, growing up, I always thought of myself as “one of the guys.”

But sad thing, it isn’t. It’s not inclusive and it’s not innocuous, and I came to find out, growing up, that I never was one of the guys. See, the guys shunned me when I grew tits, because, I was told guys don’t hang out with chicks. “It’s a guy thing.” Well, there’s a line in the sand if I ever saw one. Guys don’t hang out with girls they’re not dating, see. But woman grown, I am neither a girl nor a chick.

Football is a guy thing, and cars are too. To be a guy, you have to have a big dick. I discovered that my silicone one, even with a harness, doesn’t count. Especially if it’s the biggest one in the room. The astral phallus, no matter how hard I joked, didn’t cut it either.

So when someone walks in a room and says, “hey guys!” I know they’re not talking to me. It’s kind of funny, as “guy” used to be a term of ridicule, all thanks to one Guy Fawkes. Turning to my demi-god, the Oxford English Dictionary, I found a guide to the word “guy.” For a while, “guy” was a verb, meaning to ridicule. Guy was, and sometimes still is, a derisive little dig at some ass who is behaving in kind, deserving to be made a fool of. It was from this sense, the idea of the fool, that the usage popular in the United States likely stemmed–today it means any man. To be a “guy” you have but to be male, member and all. So sayeth the OED.

If that’s what a “guy” is, I don’t want to be one. I don’t think I ever was one, nor were any of my male friends. Even if I started to use “guy” for women specifically, it won’t wash the ridicule from the word, and the rest of the world will still mean “man” when they speak it. Yet it still slips my lips, one syllable, so easy. “Folks” isn’t the same, like it though I do. “People” has two beats, and that breaks it, lazy ass that I am. And because I didn’t grow up in the south, “y’all” is foreign on my tongue.

“‘Night, guys.” “Bye, guys.” After all, it’s a “guy” thing. We “dolls” wouldn’t understand.

2 thoughts on “My War with the Word "Guys"”

  1. I’ve never had a problem with “guys” though I know people who have exactly the same problems you have with it.“Guy” or “guys” has alway seemed like an amporphous word which could be gender nuetral or gender specific in its use. “Hey guys” being nuetral and “the guys” as specific. The OED, for all its wonders, cannot keep up with word useage completely nor the “correct” or “incorrect” use of words as has been discussed on the Ama forums though I don’t discount the history of the word. English lacks an informal nuetral word for a mixed gender group which in other languages is often by default the male version. However, I find forcing new words or terms that do not come out of the language in a more natural development irritating in how fake the word feels. I’m content with “guys” as ambigous and taking it as meaning me as well over a created word to fix this problem.I was as much “one of the guys” post-puberty boobs as pre. In fact I’m more annoyed when someone does say something like, “hey guys, oh, and Dragan”. I don’t need extra notice or language to identify me as an extra from a group in which I’m participating regardless of the sex or gender identification of those in the group. In fact, I have to think about it if someone says “hey ladies”.

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  2. In my experience, “Ladies” is only used formally or when someone sleazy is trying to get into your pants. I’ve always hated “Y’all”, and only use it jokingly, because it sounds so backwoods. Same with “Folks”, even if it does come from “Volk”. I might start using “plebes”, but that sounds pretty arrogant. 😉

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