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Etymology (Meaning of Words)/calling inanimate objects "guys"


Every day over the past few months, I hear so many people refer to inanimate objects with the word "guy."  For example, a bakery worker (pointing to the donuts), said "how many of those *guys* would you like?" and the plumber (referring to a leaky part) said "that *guy* is leaking."

To me, this is very poor grammar, and it sounds bizarre.  After all, a "guy" is a man.  In the past, I never, ever heard anyone say this.  Do you happen to know the origin of using "guy" for inanimate objects?  Thank you.

Hello, I hope that you're having a fine day,
    To the best of my knowledge, the use of 'guy' in this androgynous way grew out of the women's liberation movement of the 1960's-1970's.
Late night comedians began referring to women as guys for comedic effect and it quickly spread to our society at large. As I'm sure you've noticed, It's not at all unusual for waiters and salespeople to address a woman/man couple as 'you guys'.
      Not long thereafter, we started to hear 'guys' used in reference to inanimate objects. I thought we'd be through with the 'guys' craze by now but it seems to endure  whether we like it or not.  Yes, such use of the language is grating to the traditionalist.  We're told that language evolves.  "No problem" has overtaken "you're welcome" as a response to thank you;  one more step in the dumbing down of our language. What can we do?
        The very best to you always.
         Carol P.

Etymology (Meaning of Words)

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Carol Pozefsky


Etymology: The origins of English words and phrases. Anchor/Reporter NBC and CBS Networks. News Director 3 Regional Radio Stations.

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