There has been a general contention, if girls could be called guys. While some consider it a gender based word, some consider it a gender neutral word. Here, we’re going to enlighten you on how and when you can call a girl a guy?
The dictionary gives two definition of the word guy, one means a man or fellow, while the other means, person-used to refer to the members of a group regardless of sex.
As you can see, even from the definition, guy can either be used as a gender based word as in the first definition above, or as a gender neutral word.
Most people consider guy as a gender neutral word, therefore, it is OK to call a guy a girl. Although, that also depends on a number of factors, such as if the person you’re referring to is OK with it or not.
In fact, many girls refer to their other girlfriends as “guys”. It is not demeaning to call a girl a guy, but there might be some ladies that might not be comfortable with that. Generally, you can call a girl a guy.
In What Situation Can You Call A Girl Guy?
Although, most people consider guy to be a gender neutral word, it is not at all times, or in all cases or situations that you can call a girl guy. Calling a girl a guy in some situations can be offensive, in order to avoid clashes of opinion, here are some safe conditions in which you can call a girl a guy.
When You’re Referring To A Group.
If for example, you come across a group that include both male and female, it is still OK, if you refer to the group as a whole as ” guys”.
For example, you’re asked to call a group of people including male and female, you can say, “guys, the chemistry teacher is calling you” here you’re referring to all of them, including the females and it won’t be considered rude, demeaning or offensive by the girls.
Some ladies even find it more uncomfortable if you differentiate them in such a situation.
For example if you refer to a group and say something like, “hey guys” and the group include females, then you add after thinking you made a mistake “and ladies” the ladies in the group might feel awkward and would have preferred if you have not included the later part.
Even if it is a group of ladies with no male, it isn’t uncommon or any problem if you refer to the whole group of ladies as guys. Referring to ladies in a group as guys is fine.
If You’re Talking To Your Friends
You should be free to call your female friends girls, this is because they’re your friends. You’re free among each other, if they have any issue with being called a guy, they can comfortably voice it out and you can also comfortably make adjustments without there being a tense atmosphere.
If you’re close enough with her, then it shouldn’t be an issue. If it’s a complete stranger, she might not like being referred to as a guy but will not be able to voice out, she’ll hold a negative perspective about you without you knowing, and if she talks it might bring a tense atmosphere or uncomfortable feeling.
But if she’s your friend such things won’t be much of an issue and if it turns out she doesn’t like it, it won’t make her carry a wrong or negative impression about you as she already knows you.
Your location also goes a long way in determining if it is offensive to call a girl a guy. Some regions consider guy a gender based word while some consider it a gender neutral word. So, check your environment first before calling a girl a guy.
Places like America or Carlifonia won’t find any issue in calling a girl a guy, but it has been observed that the British people will find it odd and discomforting if you refer to a girl as a guy. So first find out what your environment says before calling a girl a guy.
If You Are A Lady
If you’re a lady, it won’t be much of an issue for you to call another lady guys, since you’re both of the same gender. It’s less offensive even to those that might pick offense because you’re also a lady.
Should You Also Call A Girl Dude?
Unlike guy whose definition is transitional from gender neutral to gender based, Dude is a word that is by definition exclusively gender based.
The word Dude gained familiarity in the early 1960’s when it started to be used interchangeable with guys, it’s feminine equivalent then was “dudette” or “dudess” but both has fallen out due to disuse of the word, this explains why dude by dictionary definition is a masculine word.
When the feminine version of dude fell out, Dude was then generally used to refer to both male and female as it was gradually becoming a unisex term.
Just like guy, Dude is also a word that people have a divided opinion about. While some find it acceptable to be called dude others might find it offensive.
But guys is even more generally acceptable as a gender neutral word than dude. Therefore, you should be more careful of calling a girl a dude, some ladies won’t appreciate that.
Although, just like guys, there are some situations like those listed above where it might be less offensive to call a lady dude.
Generally, either dude or guy, find out if the lady you’re referring to is offended with being called dude or guy, if she is, then find a more gender neutral word and if she isn’t then you can continue calling her dude or guy.
How To Use ‘Guy’ For A Girl In A Sentence
The unstable nature of the word guy should make us careful while using it for a female. There are ways you use the word guy, where it should exclusively be for male, while in some uses they can be used to refer to both male and female.
For example if someone says “I dated a lot of guys in college” in a sentence like this “guy” will be assumed to be a male by any one who reads it, but if I say something like, “Those guys are coming closer” in this sentence the word guys can be used to refer to both girls and boys.
Don’t Use Guy On A Single Girl
Firstly, if you’re a guy, desist from calling a single girl guy. It’s not at all appreciated. For example if you take your girlfriend on a date or if you’re talking to one of your female friends, do not use the word “guy” for example saying something like, “guy, hurry up” or “hurry up guy” to a lady is totally unacceptable.
Use It In Plural Form
Also it is more acceptable to use guy in plural form as in “guys” than to use it in single form as in “guy” for a female. Consider these two sentences, “Guys, hurry up” and “Guy, hurry up” the first sentence can be used for both male and female while the second sentence would be used to refer to only male.
Using guy in the plural form is more acceptable to ladies than using in the singular form. This means that you should only refer to girls as guys when they are in groups, either a girl’s only group or a group which includes both male and females.
Use It Informally
Guy isn’t a formal word, therefore using it in a formal situation is not. It should only be used casually or colloquially.
Some ladies that find it non-offensive to be called guys, will find it offensive or unofficial to be called guys at work, or during a formal meeting.
It is better and more appropriate for you to use formal words like, “ladies and gentleman, rather than guys in a formal meeting.
Use It In Second Person Plural
Using guys as a second person plural puts it in a gender neutral position, but using it in third person plural, makes it a masculine word.
For example; consider these two sentences
- Where are those guys going?
- Where are you guys going?
In these two sentences, the first one passes across a message that guys refers to males, while in the second sentence it could be used to refer to both males and females.
When using guys to refer to a girl, use it in second person plural, not first person plural.
Use It More Directly
You shouldn’t refer to a girl indirectly as guy, for example, you shouldn’t say ” Look at those guys over there” but you can say, “Thanks guys” if you’re talking to a group of ladies directly “guys” is acceptable, while you shouldn’t refer to a group of females indirectly as “guys”
All in all, calling a lady a guy would depend on a lot of factors, from the culture of a geographical location, to the way you use it in a sentence. However, knowing if calling a lady guy is acceptable or not, all boils down to the very person you’re talking to.
Even if calling a girl a guy is socially acceptable, the person you might be talking to might not like it. Therefore it is safer to know the stand of the person you’re talking to or safest to not refer to them at all as guys.