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Where did the expression come from?

by grimgraphix / March 30, 2007 3:48 AM PDT

I was just talking with my grandmother (98 years old and counting) and I was struck by the awkwardness of starting a sentence with the word "boy"...

"Boy Grandma the kids sure are..."

When and where and why did we start using "boy" to bring emphasis to the beginning of a sentence?

Why not say "aardvark grandma..." or "Girl grandma..." or some other word?

Any clues?


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Nice link ! but it kind of goes off course...
by grimgraphix / March 30, 2007 6:47 AM PDT
In reply to: a couple of ideas here

The very first question there is almost exactly as I originally asked... where did using 'boy' as an emphasis at the beginning of a sentence come from. However, as the responses went on they kind of focused on the way one gains someone else's attention with a neutral or sometimes insulting addressing of who they may be talking to... example:

Dude, check this out...

Man, I'm good...

Girl, your crazy...

Muther F****r!!! go **** and die... (very inapropriate but I couldn't resist.)

Maby the use of "boy" to emphasize the beginning of a sentence comes from the British (Welsh, Cork, Irish?) "boyo". Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary offers this...

Main Entry: boyo
Pronunciation: 'boi-(")O
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural boy

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Whatever you do to find the answer
by JP Bill / March 30, 2007 6:00 AM PDT

don't Google "boy oh boy" Wink

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Too late!
by grimgraphix / March 30, 2007 7:00 AM PDT

Check out the urban dictionary link I posted on my reply to Jonah... but only if your not easily offended by a bunch of UK slang explanations for the word.

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That's funny but still doesn't explain
by Diana Forum moderator / March 30, 2007 2:50 PM PDT
In reply to: Too late!

using it to start a sentence.

It sounds like an exclamation. I can remember my folks using boy-o-boy - which doesn't help in the dictionary.


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By "98 and counting"..........
by caktus / March 30, 2007 2:49 PM PDT

we're you refering to yourself or you're Grandma? Wink

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I ran out of fingers at 11
by grimgraphix / March 31, 2007 1:07 AM PDT
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(NT) What?! You've got [11 fingers]?! ;)
by caktus / March 31, 2007 2:41 AM PDT
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by grimgraphix / March 31, 2007 2:50 AM PDT

A kid I knew in jr. high school had been born with 11 sets of finger bones but remarkably had only 10 actual fingers. He had a nasty scar running up the side of his hand where they had gone in and taken out the extra set of bones.

To be honest, I'm lucky to have the 10 fingers I was born with considering some of the occupations I have had. Wink

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(NT) Boy, that's a good question!
by drpruner / March 31, 2007 1:39 AM PDT
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You asked about "boy" to bring
by John Robie / March 31, 2007 1:53 AM PDT

emphasis to the beginning of a sentence.

Glad you didn't ask about "Hey Boy" or "Boy, bring me that rope." and its origin. I'd probably or might answer Tarzan must have originated it.

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