I am about 19 year old and go to college. Often I have to refer to myself in an introduction. What shall I call myself? 'Man' seems too old, 'boy' seems too young and 'guy' seems too informal. What shall I call myself?

Update: as a comment suggested, and I felt too, an example is needed. This is actually quite general. I want to use it, for example, in a blog, during conversations, or maybe in an interview. I am just looking for the most appealing noun.

  • 3
    Please give an example of an introduction where you think that any of the above are required Mar 22, 2013 at 13:49
  • If this is for a job application in the U.S., please understand that an employer is not supposed to ask for either a job applicant's age (provided the applicant is legal to work, i.e. over 18 or 21 depending on the job and jurisdiction) or gender (except where it is relevant for job duties, e.g. for the assignment of a changing room), so it is not necessary to disclose that information in an initial introduction.
    – choster
    Mar 22, 2013 at 14:23
  • @choster But I can! I am, after all, a guy/boy/male/whatever. Mar 22, 2013 at 18:38
  • I upvoted this, because I think it's a good question. It's not an easy question to answer, it pertains to English, and it's definitely related to a real-world problem that the O.P. actually faces. "Man" could indeed sound presumptuous, "boy" would sound juvenile, and "guy" is too casual for a formal introduction. I looked up "man" in a thesaurus and found even worse alternatives: gent, fellow, bloke, dude. I was surprised to find this at -2 when I stumbled across it.
    – J.R.
    Mar 23, 2013 at 0:59
  • 2
    why would you need to refer to yourself in this way at all? Generally one calls oneself "I" or "me" if anything.
    – Dan Hulme
    Mar 23, 2013 at 17:48

1 Answer 1


“Young man” is sometimes used when speaking of a male in his teens or early twenties. Its senses include “a juvenile between the onset of puberty and maturity” among other senses not relevant.

  • 2
    This and young adult are good descriptions for the grey area between boyhood and manhood/adulthood. +1 for you.
    – rsegal
    Mar 22, 2013 at 14:58

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.