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

EXAMPLES FROM THE WEB FOR LADS

"Aye, lads, it was that," said a deep voice from behind Alleyne's shoulder.

It is for me to fill your cups again, since you have drained them to my dear lads of the white jerkin.

Lads of Zuñi took my egg and hatched it under a turkey hen, at the Ant Hill.

Never seed nothin' like that afore—no, lads, not in all my life.

The commodore commended us, and called out, "that is quick work, my lads!"

Nothing could equal the good behaviour of these lads, or their interest in everything.

As for the two lads, I could not get as far as the cabin in which they had been put.

He passed among the lads of his own age, and encouraged them.

Colonel Winchester rejoiced no less than the lads over the sergeant's escape.

He reached the three lads, and looked down at them with a sort of pity.

WORD ORIGIN

c.1300, ladde "foot soldier," also "young male servant" (attested as a surname from late 12c.), possibly from a Scandinavian language (cf. Norwegian -ladd, in compounds for "young man"), but of obscure origin in any case. OED hazards a guess on Middle English ladde, plural of the past participle of lead (v.), thus "one who is led" (by a lord). Liberman derives it from Old Norse ladd "hose; woolen stocking." "The development must have been from 'stocking,' 'foolish youth' to 'youngster of inferior status' and (with an ameliorated meaning) to 'young fellow.'" He adds, "Words for socks, stockings, and shoes seem to have been current as terms of abuse for and nicknames of fools." Meaning "boy, youth, young man" is from mid-15c. Scottish form laddie, a term of endearment, attested from 1540s.

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