It seems that "Boys will be boys" is a well established idiom and, according to Cambridge Idioms Dictionary, 2nd ed, as it is written on The Free Dictionary, it is "something that you say which means it is not surprising when boys or men behave in a noisy, rude, or unpleasant way."

However, searching on Google Books I found plenty of books whose titles contain the phrase "Girls will be girls" and I found, too, a film named "Girls will be girls".

So I began to wonder if "Girls will be girls" is a phrase that begins to take on an idiomatic meaning in English. Is it so?

If yes, in what circumstances do Americans or Brits use it? And, what do they want to say when they use it?

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    Excellent question but, no, GWBG is only a derivative, jocularly replacing girls for boys, because culturally girls don't act like boys at all. The implications of BWBB phrase has inferences that just do not (traditionally) correspond to boys/men. And so it is humorous/clever to make the replacement, that's all. GWBG does not stand alone in meaning by itself - its meaning depends on its connection with BWBB.
    – Mitch
    Jul 24 '13 at 16:31

As best I know, Girls will be girls is used in the sense that it's the complement to Boys will be boys. Whether that makes it a phrase that is used with idiomatic meaning is a matter of opinion, I suppose, but it would mean roughly the same thing: girls tend to do generic things that girls tend to do. At least in the states, Boys will be boys is certainly being used less often, as it tends to excuse unacceptable behavior for gender-biased reasons, and promotes traditional gender roles. Girls will be girls is an often empowering phrase to counter-act such claims.


The usage of ‘girls will be girls’ seems limited to titles, as you suggest. Probably, the intent is to have a witty title that refers to another expression (in this case, ‘boys will be boys’).

Another example would be the game “Cards Against Humanity”. It’s obviously a reference to the phrase ‘crimes against humanity’, but it’s not a saying in its own right. It’s tweaked to refer to its topic.


I have never heard anyone use the term "Girls will be Girls" anywhere in the US. Normally, I've heard people say something more like, "Girls...". Just the one word that trails off with a meaningful look. I'm sorry, but that's rather difficult to transfer by text.