Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Please call me Madam

Although Oxford Dictionaries Online ( defines Guys as "people of either sex" they define a Guy as "a Man". How contradictory is that?

I am not a Man. 

The common usage of the plural "Guys" is another Americanism that has crept into our Australian language over the last ten years and its use annoys me intensely. Someone close to me, when I objected to her use of guys said "Well, what should I say?" That depends on the context, there are many alternatives one can use: buddies, chaps, class, colleagues, crew, fellow Australians, fellow ..., friends, gang, girls and boys, ladies and gentlemen, madam, mates, members, mesdames, sir, sirs, staff, students, supporters, team." There are many alternatives.

I am not alone; after commencing this post I turned to my mate Google to see if I could find others who agreed with me. The first article I read, Fight hamburgerisation; dig up some old Aussie lingo
from  the Sydney Morning Herald of  February 1, 2010 expressed my feelings far more eloquently than I. I give a similar answer to the person quoted in this article when someone asks me where the "Bathroom" is. I go to the bathroom to bathe; in fact many bathrooms in Australia do not even have a toilet.

Would all you guys out there please be a bit more creative with your language and, please, call me Madam.

Definition of guy in English


Pronunciation: /gʌɪ/
Translate guy | into French | into German | into Italian | into Spanish


  • 1 informal a man:he’s a nice guy
  •  (guys) people of either sex:you guys want some coffee?
  • 2British a figure representing Guy Fawkes, burnt on a bonfire on Guy Fawkes Night, and often displayed by children begging for money for fireworks.


[with object]
  • make fun of; ridicule:she never stopped guying him about his weight

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