/gerrl/, n.1. a female child, from birth to full growth.2. a young, immature woman, esp. formerly, an unmarried one.3. a daughter: My wife and I have two girls.4. Informal (sometimes offensive). a grown woman, esp. when referred to familiarly: She's having the girls over for bridge next week.5. girlfriend; sweetheart.6. Often Offensive. a female servant.7. Usually Offensive. a female employee.8. a female who is from or native to a given place: She's a Missouri girl.9. girls, (used with a sing. or pl. v.)a. a range of sizes from 7 to 14, for garments made for girls.b. a garment in this size range.c. the department or section of a store where these garments are sold.[1250-1300; ME gurle, girle, gerle child, young person; cf. OE gyrela, gi(e)rela, item of dress, apparel (presumably worn by the young in late OE period, and hence used as a metonym)]Usage. Just as many mature men, even young men, resent being referred to as boys, many adult women today are offended if referred to as GIRLS, or the less formal GALS. In business and professional offices, the practice of referring to one's secretary as the girl or my girl, as in I'll have my girl look it up and call you back, has decreased but not disappeared entirely. Such terms as THE GIRLS in reference to a group of women, GIRL or GAL FRIDAY in reference to a female secretary or assistant, and BACHELOR GIRL in reference to an unmarried woman are increasingly regarded as offensive, and WORKING GIRL in the sense "a woman who works" is declining in use. See also lady, woman.
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