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b) a girl who behaves like a boy

German translation:

tomboy = ein jungenhaftes Mädchen

How important is this English word?
tomboy: 3,930,000 Google Hits



Sample text:

Mary could climb trees, loved to catch frogs and could spit farther than any of the kids in the neighbourhood. She was a real TOMBOY.

Ms Milner, from Halifax, who is 49, owns 18 pipes and denies she is any kind of TOMBOY, did not expect to win.*

(The Times Online, September 7, 2006)

*Ms. Milner won the annual Halifax Pipesmoking Club championship by keeping 3 grams of tobacco alight for 1 hour and 7 minutes, using only a couple of matches.

Did you know?


- A girl considered boyish or masculine in behaviour or manner.

(The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000.)

The word tomboy can be traced to the 16th century and meant a rude (unhöflich), boisterous (wild) boy and was formed from the English Tom + boy. The word was later applied to a bold or immodest (unbescheiden) woman and eventually used to describe a girl who behaves like a spirited, boisterous boy.

(The Barnhart Concise Dictionary of Etymology)

Well-known tomboys in literature include Eva Lotte in Astrid Lindgren's book Kalle Blomquist and Scout Finch in Harper Lee's novel To Kill a Mockingbird, which was made into an Oscar-winning film starring Gregory Peck.

say something like:

“One of the best players on the company football team is a woman from the accounting department. She says she was a tomboy for as long as she can remember.”

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