Where does “guy” come from?
January 15, 2011 Leave a comment
My friends, who love to call each other “guy” in a playfully taunting way should know where the word comes from.
I think the beauty of it has to do with the anonymity of the word. Even though you actually KNOW the person, relegating someone to a “guy” versus their name is stripping them of their identity and therefore authority.
Consider this example: “I went to see this guy give a speech the other day.”
“I went to see the President give a speech the other day.”
The context completely changes.
This makes “guy” a good tool to playfully (and sometimes hurtfully) dig into a friend. DON”T say it to a bartender if you really want a drink. DO say it to your friend who espouses the use of the DH in baseball…
Here’s where it comes from:
“fellow,” 1847, originally Amer.Eng.; earlier (1836) “grotesquely or poorly dressed person,” originally (1806) “effigy of Guy Fawkes,”leader of the Gunpowder Plot to blow up British king and Parliament (Nov. 5, 1605), paraded through the streets by children on the anniversary of the conspiracy. The male proper name is from Fr., related to It. Guido, lit. “leader,” of Gmc. origin (seeguide).
So it’s a Guido. Which couldn’t be more appropriate since we all hate Guidos. Guido is a GUY who has tried to make something happen but then completely bungles it. More than someone who doesn’t attempt to do something and achieves nothing, a GUY is someone who attempts something and really REALLY thinks it’s going to work but then FAILS. If you read the story of Guy Fawkes, (epic fail) then you’d know that a Guy or a Guido isn’t very intelligent, lacks originality and is a failure. Yes it comes from “Guide” which means leader. But it’s like the leader of the idiots.
Not to be confused with “Pachukers,” although the groups may overlap. Guys are people in charge of idiots, or are people who think their “way” is the right way, even though the rest of us would gladly burn their image in effigy if it was worthwhile…
A typical guy or guido:
– Anyone in charge of the “door” (not the doormen, their bosses)
– The driver of a vehicle too low or too high off the ground
– Anyone in the “Bad Boys” club
– Raider Fans
– New Jersey and Long Island, of course
– Paintball soldiers
– Anything to do with a motorized watercraft
There’s more. I can certainly take them in your comments.