08 May

Sometimes it is easy to accept things that have been passed down through generations, especially by professionals, as being correct without ever challenging it. But as someone rightly said, ‘A lie isn’t less a lie just because millions of people think it is the truth’ (at least I think that was what was said). Once in a while, I have the tendency to challenge things that just doesn’t sit quite right with me and one of those things is the word ‘Tomboy’ (Some of my friends whom I have had this argument with, already know what I mean).

The word ‘Tomboy’ is simply used to refer to a girl that acts like a boy. Okay, so this is my argument; let’s begin by breaking down the word into its two parts ‘Tom’ and ‘Boy’. These two separate words are put together to make up the word ‘Tomboy’ and give it its meaning. However, I think there is a lapse in separate word choice and this is  my reason why; ‘Tom’ is generally a name for a boy, and ‘Boy’, well means ‘boy’ (laughs). So it is just like saying ‘boyish-boy’, which  doesn’t exactly mean what the word ‘Tomboy’  means or anything at all, if you ask me . Now I think the appropriate word should be, ‘Tomgirl’, because like I have explained ‘Tom’ in this regard is synonymous with a boy and ‘Girl’ is a girl, thus, it can be easily translated to mean a ‘boyish-girl’ which  is literally same as the presently recorded meaning of  ‘Tomboy’. Consequently, it most definitely makes more sense to say ‘Tomgirl’ (at less to me, it does) . This way, you have ‘Girl’ in the word, as you do in the meaning and it is quite clear that you are referring to a girl who acts like a boy, not a boy who acts like a boy.

So am going to put this out there alongside my argument and y’all can comment and tell me what you think. I think it’s time the word got revised to make more sense. I already use ‘Tomgirl’ anyways **smiles**


Posted by on May 8, 2013 in Uncategorized


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3 responses to “QUESTION 1: TOMBOY OR TOMGIRL????

  1. lunartsd

    May 11, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    You did promise that your readers would be challenged from time to time, and you haven’t failed yet. I never even thought about this before! And it makes so much sense. Tom is a masculine name; a tomcat is a male cat; so why is “tomboy ” used to describe girls? I had to google this and I found out that tomboy actually WAS used to describe boys, centuries ago. But along the line it was adapted to girls and it’s connotation for boys got dropped. Read this:

    ” …The word has been recorded to be
    used in the English language since 1553, primarily to describe a
    “rude, boisterous boy,” from Tom
    (a common boys’ name as in
    ‘Tommy’, meaning soldier) + boy;
    the meaning “bold or immodest
    woman” is attested from 1579; the
    present use is first recorded in

    Very interesting. Thanks for enlightening us some more!

    • journalofacomplexmind

      May 13, 2013 at 10:51 am

      Ha!!!!! Thanks for d update. I knew that there was something off about the word and sorry to the lexicographers if I dissed them a little.

      Nevertheless, I still believe that the present usage is inadequate and tomgirl or something closer is more appropriate for its present connotation.

      • lunartsd

        May 13, 2013 at 11:13 pm

        Perhaps a totally different word is needed to replace “tomboy” entirely, seeing as it never had any positive connotations– not when it was used for boys, and certainly not when it got transferred to girls.

        The word ‘tomboy’ was never a compliment to begin with, so it really shouldn’t come as a surprise that it was inappropriately applied to girls. They just couldn’t be bothered to convert it to fit the opposite gender.


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