What Does the Word “Tomboy” Mean and Where Did the Term For Masculine Girls Come From?

A tomboy has meant a bold, aggressive girl since about 1579, but before that, a “Tom” was a boisterous, rude boy.

If you think of the nighttime habits of a tomcat you might understand that a tomboy, a girl who liked the company of men, was used as late as the 1930s as a reference to a prostitute.

This use of the word torn is from the Anglo-Saxon word “tumbere”, meaning to dance and tumble around.

what does the word tomboy mean and where did the term for masculine girls come from
About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist for zippyfacts.com. Born in New York, she loves interesting random facts from all over the world.