The Student Room Group

At what age do you call males a boy or a man


In my native tongue, 'girl/boy' is the preferred term when it comes to referring to (fe)males from ages 16 to 30 (sometimes even 35). It is stricter with girls.

If you call a 25-year-old a woman, she will feel ****ed-off (as she will (righteously) suppose you have meant to imply she looks older), if you call her a lady, she may slap you right in the face (and most bystanders will applaud her), as lady is strictly reserved for 75+ old women and otherwise considered a pejorative, misogynistic offense.

I have hardly heard any of my male friends at home referring to themselves as men unless one is into toxic masculinity and wants to stress how manly he is, although there are better (and less chauvinist sounding) ways to emphasize one's virility.

I am sometimes surprised when I hear British students referring to their boyfriends as men and, when I ask how old the person is, am told '19' or '21', which forces me to burst out laughing. Boys at UK unis, however, hardly call her gfs a woman.

Why is there such a difference in the UK that being called a girl is considered perfect for less longer than a boy? Is boy considered a diminutive term or is masculinity simply overrated as the majority of British still seems to cling to traditions (even those on the left)?

Thank you for your clarifying advice.
Basically boys and girls become men and women when they become adults. So normally, when people are 18+ you would refer to them as men/women unless you were quite a bit older than them. The boundaries between the two is unclear when people are teenagers so I guess you choose on their perceived maturity lol
Reply 2
Strictly speaking could change to woman/man at 18. In dating and other relaxed contexts you can probably extend that up to 30. It’s more sensitive in formal contexts like work where you might avoid calling people girl/boy. The terms girlfriend and boyfriend can be used at all ages
(edited 4 weeks ago)
Personally there is no age if they immature and laugh when a girl mentions the word **** then they still a boy a man imo is someone loving caring and respectful of women and doesn’t laugh at the word ****

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