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A boy is a young male human. The term is commonly used for a child or an adolescent. When a male human reaches adulthood, he is described as a man. Definition, etymology, and use According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a boy is 'a male child from birth to adulthood'. The word 'boy' comes from Middle English boi, boye ('boy, servant'), related to other Germanic words for boy, namely East Frisian boi ('boy, young man') and West Frisian boai ('boy'). Although the exact etymology is obscure, the English and Frisian forms probably derive from an earlier Anglo-Frisian *b-ja ('little brother'), a diminutive of the Germanic root *b- ('brother, male relation'), from Proto-Indo-European *bh-, *bht- ('father, brother'). The root is also found in Norwegian dialectal boa ('brother'), and, through a reduplicated variant *b-b-, in Old Norse bfi, Dutch boef '(criminal) knave, rogue', German Bube ('knave, rogue, boy'). Furthermore, the word may be related to Bia, an Anglo-Saxon personal name. = Specific uses = Race Historically, in the United States and South Africa, 'boy' was not only a 'neutral' term for domestics but also a disparaging term towards black men, the term implied a subservient status. Thomas Branch, an early African-American Seventh-day Adventist missionary to Nyassaland (Malawi) referred to the native students as 'boys':There is one way by which we judge many of our present boys to be quite different from some of those who were here long ago: those that are married have their wives here with them, and build their own houses, and all are busy making their gardens. I have told all the boys that if they wished to stay here and learn, those that had wives must bring them. Multiple politicians including New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former Kentucky Congressman Geoff Davis have been criticized publicly for referring to a black man as 'boy. 'During an event promoting the 2017 boxing bout between Floyd Mayweather Jr.
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