A male child, from birth to the age of puberty; a lad; hence, a son. "My only boy fell by the side of great Dundee." (Sir W. Scott)

Boy is often used as a term of comradeship, as in college, or in the army or navy. In the plural used colloquially of members of an assosiaton, fraternity, or party. Boy bishop, a boy (usually a chorister) elected bishop, in old Christian sports, and invested with robes and other insignia. He practiced a kind of mimicry of the ceremonies in which the bishop usually officiated. The Old Boy, the Devil. Yellow boys, guineas. Boy's love, a popular English name of Southernwood (Artemisia abrotonum);) called also lad's love. Boy's play, childish amusements; anything trifling.

Origin: Cf. D. Boef, Fries. Boi, boy; akin to G. Bube, Icel. Bofi rouge.

(01 Mar 1998)

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