Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


You know that Milbrey girl must get her effrontery direct from where they make it.

To have married a girl who cared only for his money; that would have been dire enough.

Percival fancied there was a look almost of regret in the girl's eyes.

The newcomer went quickly, with catlike tread, toward the girl.

I know more than one New York girl who'd have jumped at the chance.

Going back amazed, he asked his companion who the girl he had seen could have been.

They awoke one morning to find the car on a siding at the One Girl mine.

He stood in deep shadow and the girl had been too absorbed in the play to note his coming.

"It'll be no easy matter marrying that girl," he told Mrs. Drelmer.

He was forced to admit that the girl still had power to trouble him.


c.1300, gyrle "child" (of either sex), of unknown origin; current scholarship [OED says] leans toward an unrecorded Old English *gyrele, from Proto-Germanic *gurwilon-, diminutive of *gurwjoz (apparently also represented by Low German gære "boy, girl," Norwegian dialectal gorre, Swedish dialectal gurre "small child," though the exact relationship, if any, between all these is obscure), from PIE *ghwrgh-, also found in Greek parthenos "virgin." But this is highly conjectural. And Liberman (2008) writes:

Another candidate is Old English gierela "garment" (for possible sense evolution in this theory, cf. brat). Like boy, lass, lad it is of obscure origin. "Probably most of them arose as jocular transferred uses of words that had originally different meaning" [OED]. Specific meaning of "female child" is late 14c. Applied to "any young unmarried woman" since mid-15c. Meaning "sweetheart" is from 1640s. Girl next door as a type of unflashy attractiveness is recorded by 1953.

Girl Friday is from 1940, a reference to "Robinson Crusoe."


Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.