Boyfriend

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A boyfriend is a regular male companion in a romantic and/or sexual relationship.[1] This is normally not in long-term committed (e.g. marital) relationships, where other titles (e.g. husband, partner) are more commonly used. A boyfriend can also be called an admirer, beau, fiancé, suitor and soul mate.[2] A boyfriend is sometimes taken to check for compatibility in a relationship.

Contents

Scope

A woman with her boyfriend.
A man with his boyfriend.

Partners in committed non-marital relationships are also sometimes described as a significant other or partner, [3] especially if the individuals are cohabiting.

Boyfriend and partner mean different things to different people; the distinctions between the terms are subjective. How the term is used will ultimately be determined by personal preference.[4][5]

A 2005 study of 115 people ages 21 to 35 who were either living with or had lived with a romantic partner notes that the lack of proper terms often leads to awkward situations, such as someone upset over not being introduced in social situations to avoid the question.[6]

There is a significant difference between girlfriend and boyfriend, and girl friend and boy friend. In a strictly grammatical sense, a girlfriend[7] or boyfriend[8] is an 'individual of significance' with whom one shares a relationship.

Word history

The word dating entered the American language during the Roaring Twenties. Prior to that, courtship was a matter of family and community interest. Starting around the time of the Civil War, courtship became a private matter for couples.[9] In the early to mid 20th century in the US, women were often visited by "gentleman callers", single men who would arrive at the home of a young woman with the hopes of beginning a courtship.[10] The era of the gentleman caller ended in the early 20th century and the modern idea of dating developed.[9]

In literature, the term is discussed in July 1988 in Neil Bartlett's, Who Was That Man? A Present for Mr Oscar Wilde. On pages 108-110, Bartlett quotes from an issue of The Artist and Journal of Home Culture, which refers to Alectryon as "a boyfriend of Mars".

Synonyms

See also

References

  1. ^ Compact Oxford English Dictionary of Current English , published 23 June 2005, University of Oxford, ISBN 978-0-19-861022-9 edition
  2. ^ Thesaurus.com. "Boyfriend". http://thesaurus.com/browse/boyfriend?s=t. Retrieved 6 May 2012.
  3. ^ Thesaurus.com. "Significant other". http://thesaurus.com/browse/significant+other?s=t. Retrieved 6 May 2012.
  4. ^ Wavey, Davey. [breaktheillusion.com/life/partner-vs-boyfriend/ ""Partner" vs "Boyfriend""]. breaktheillusion.com/life/partner-vs-boyfriend/.
  5. ^ Goldstein, Meredith (15 June 2009). "Partner? Boyfriernd? Maybe?". The Boston Globe. http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/relationships/blog/2009/06/partner_boyfriend_mate.html. Retrieved 6 May 2012.
  6. ^ Jayson, Sharon (23 June 2008). "Adults stumble over what to call their romantic partners". USA Today. http://www.usatoday.com/life/lifestyle/2008-06-22-adult-dating-descriptor_N.htm. Retrieved 6 May 2012.
  7. ^ "Girlfriend". WordNet. http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=girlfriend. Retrieved 11 November 2010.
  8. ^ "Boyfriend". WordNet. http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=boyfriend. Retrieved 11 November 2010.
  9. ^ a b Hirsch, Elaine. "The History of Dating and Communication". http://www.communicationstudies.com/the-history-of-dating-and-communication. Retrieved 6 May 2012.
  10. ^ Hunt, Lana J.. "Ladies and Gentleman". http://www.angelfire.com/ar3/townevictorian/ladiesgentlemen.html. Retrieved 6 May 2012.
  11. ^ Merriam-Webster. "Sugar daddy". http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sugar%20daddy. Retrieved 6 May 2012.
  12. ^ BF - Definition by AcronymFinder
  13. ^ The Free Dictionary By Farlex. "Leman". http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Leman. Retrieved 6 May 2012.
  14. ^ Aliperti, Cliff. "My Name is Julia Ross (1945) starring Nina Foch and George Macready". http://www.things-and-other-stuff.com/6656/my-name-is-julia-ross-1945/. Retrieved 6 May 2012.

External links