What does Tomboy mean?

Tomboy- What does Tomboy Mean?

Tomboy is a common slang used for girls who show interest and do activities associated with boys. The term tomboy is mainly used for girls who show boisterous nature, like interest in sports or are unusually energetic and rough. Sometimes the minute details like a girl’s dressing that is anything but dresses and skirts make people call her a tomboy. 

Who is a Tomboy?

Tomboy is a term that people imply to girls who behave in a boyish manner and like to indulge in activities that usually fall in the masculine domain according to society. Most girls who have brothers or parents who mainly exhibit masculine character are more tomboyish than girls with girl siblings and a feminine environment at home.  

Is the Word Tomboy an Insult to Girls?

Earlier, people used to say energetic girls tomboy on purpose that was not considered bad because there was less awareness. However, with a new feminism wave where celebrities and even common people are talking about it, women consider the term ‘tomboy’ an insult. 

The major question people need to ask themselves is who is setting the gender roles? For a long time, people expected them to behave in a submissive way, like certain things, refrain from others, follow a set dress code, and do not show any signs of masculinity. 

There is no set definition of feminine behavior, and if a girl is energetic, it doesn’t mean she needs to be called by a term like a tomboy. It is similar to saying that boys cannot be sensitive or soft. So, now, if you ask women about whether the term tomboy is insulting or not, more than 90% will say it is, in fact, derogatory. 

Origin of Term Tomboy

According to research, the first time the term tomboy originated in the 1570s by combining two words, i.e., Tom + Boy. The word Tom was taken from a manly name, ‘Thomas,’ that’s very common, and boy was taken from the old English word, ‘boia.’ Interestingly, the word tomboy was first used for rude and barbaric male children instead of female children.

However, by the 19th century, when the first strong wave of feminism hit the US, the term became popular for women, but it was still limited to middle to upper-class white women. However, in the late 19th century, when Michelle Ann wrote a book named ‘Tomboys: A literary and cultural history,’ it became widespread. 

After that, when lesbianism appeared publicly, and women were not afraid to show their likeness to other women and manly dressing, the term tomboy became pervasive. However, tomboy became a cultural icon with time, especially when the book ‘To kill a mocking bird by Harper Lee’s came out in the late 20th century.

Interesting Facts about Tomboy

  • A fascinating fact about tomboys is that they like sneakers more than heels and jeans more than dresses. 
  • Tomboys do not like to talk about their personal life, including their relationships, so people have a narrative that they won’t ever get married. 
  • Tomboys avoid makeup as much as they can, and they enjoy the company of boys more than girls.
  • Some tomboys have stronger bodies than men, and they like doing regular hardcore workouts in the gym.

Leave a Comment