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As far as my understanding: Boy-o reflects one's behavior while it can also be used to address a group of males. But Guy seems to be mostly used in addressing the people while it is less used as a behavioral word.

Please suggest what should I use and when.

Here are some examples I thought of:

Usage : Boy-o

1). How's it going boy-o?
2). That particular stare has the boy-o in it. (I think it makes more sense)

Usage : Guy

1). He's a nice guy.
2). The kids asked passing workers for pennies for the guy.

Also, I think Boy-o seems to be informal as compared to guy. Looking for an appealing noun to address a group of people.

EDIT:

Boy-o reference: Strangers in Death

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  • Where do you hear boy-o? It might be spelt, boyo, I've not come across that expression recently, it reminds me of a Welsh dialect back in the 30s(?). I don't think it's American, not British.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Feb 16, 2014 at 15:43
  • Please see the edits. Feb 16, 2014 at 16:03
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    I don't think boy-o is a term that is familiar to most native speakers. You might be better off saying guys, or perhaps the slightly old-fashioned word, gang to refer to a mixed group of young people. Judging from the context, the protagonist isn't using the term as a compliment or as a term of endearment!
    – Mari-Lou A
    Feb 16, 2014 at 16:58
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    boyo is quite common amongst the elderly scots I know.
    – d'alar'cop
    Feb 26, 2014 at 14:48

1 Answer 1

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"Boyo" is a non-standard word that simply means "boy":

boyo — Irish: boy, lad

As the dictionary entry notes, it is "Irish" and the most common place to hear "boyo" is from Irish mob stereotypes in film or television.

As for your examples:

  1. How's it going boy-o?
  2. That particular stare has the boy-o in it. (I think it makes more sense)

(1) would be correct, (2) seems wrong to me replacing "boyo" with "boy" doesn't really make sense in this context -- but I have to admit that I am not an expert on the word's usage.


"Guy", on the other hand, is extremely common and your examples are accurate usage.


Also, I think Boy-o seems to be informal as compared to guy. Looking for an appealing noun to address a group of people.

"Guy" is extremely informal. "Boyo" is mostly reserved for Irish stereotyping so I would avoid it. Neither word refer to a group of people unless you pluralized them. If you did, "guys" would the most appropriate term:

Hey guys.

How are you guys doing?

There is a question about the applicable gender of guys but boyos would most probably refer to a group of lads only.

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  • Thanks MrHen, you made a good explanation and somewhat cleared my thoughts regarding this mythology. :) Apr 16, 2014 at 16:14

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