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Is there a word for a sexually-inexperienced man/boy - like how virgin is for a woman/girl?

I'm from Norway, and here the word svenn is used for males who have yet to sleep with someone. Although jomfru (virgin) is also more and more used on males.

Svenn is also used for a person who's been studying (often a craft) under a master, and will soon become a master himself. I guess apprentice would be a good translation, although a svenn may himself have younger boys beneath him, whom he instructs in the craft.

Svenn is also used in peppersvenn (an unmarried man 30 years old or older), as opposed to peppermø ( = maid)(an unmarried woman 30 years old or older).

So is there a "male" version of virgin - and perhaps a male-specific word for losing his virginity?

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    I posted this question today and it might be interesting to you. :) – user140086 Nov 30 '15 at 15:44
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    Just for your information, you want to use "losing" and not "loosing" here. – nanny Nov 30 '15 at 19:48
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    Ironically, I believe the word svenn is cognate to the English word swain, which means a man who is a woman's lover. – psmears Nov 30 '15 at 19:54
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    Do you have a source for "svenn" being used for male virgins in Norwegian? The only meanings I've encountered for it before is for it either it being a young man, or a craftsman's apprentice. Googling doesn't turn up anything resembling your definition, and neither does Wikipedia, Store Norske, or www.nob-ordbok.uio.no/ – eirikdaude Nov 30 '15 at 21:15
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    It's gender-neutral, as in The 40-Year-Old Virgin – smci Nov 30 '15 at 21:39
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Virgin is used to refer to a person who has never had sex or a person who has no experience in a particular activity. This person can be male or female.

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    This is what allows Jeff Dunham to make the joke with Achmed, asking "did they say it would be only female virgins?" – Niet the Dark Absol Nov 30 '15 at 19:13
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    I've occasionally heard the term to mean having had receptive sex rather than just any form of it in certain contexts. K: "I'm not a virgin!" C: "You mean you've lost your virginity or you've taken someone else's? You don't look like the pitchin' kind to me." – zxq9 Dec 1 '15 at 2:21
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    @zxq9 - that quote seems to demonstrate that virgin can mean either way, other wise C wouldn't need to clarify. K has either lost his virginity through some prior sexual relations, or he has taken someone else's, but whether he was giving or receiving, he's no longer a virgin. K seems to make a distinction between losing one's own virginity and taking someone else's. – Johnny Dec 1 '15 at 2:41
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    In the movie, "The 40-Year-Old Virgin", the protagonist is not a woman. – WhatRoughBeast Dec 1 '15 at 18:10
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    @Cronax - How does one give or receive virginity? One is a virgin by default until the criteria for not being one are met. – Jimbo Jonny Dec 2 '15 at 18:09
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In English the word "virgin" has absolutely zero gender requirements. Virgins are virgins, male or female.

It simply means anyone that has not had sexual intercourse. It is quite normal to refer to a male having lost his virginity, or referring to a male virgin, etc.

  • I agree with you, but this answer would be made better with a reference; you could simply link to and quote a dictionary like the other answers here. – sumelic Nov 30 '15 at 23:27
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    It might also be good to mention that this is a modern phenomenon. 'Virgin' meant 'a woman who has not given birth' or simply 'a young woman' in the past. – otakucode Dec 1 '15 at 12:31
  • @otakucode: When? The 13th centrury barely counts, while maiden is a rather different word – Henry Dec 1 '15 at 18:26
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If you want a term exclusively used for males, there is the slang term cherry-boy. According to urbandictionary, it is also used in gay slang.

Cassell's Dictionary of Slang has the slang term cherry prick also but I've never heard it before.

The terms above are uncommon unlike virgin which is used for both males and females.


Here are the definitions from Cassell's Dictionary of Slang (by Jonathon Green):

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Here is an interesting excerpt about cherry boy which seems commonly used in Japan (to support senshin's comment below):

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Source: Sex and the Japanese: The Sensual Side of Japan (By Boye De Mente)

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    Amusing side note - "cherry boy" has been borrowed into Japanese to mean "male virgin" (チェリーボーイ / cherī bōi; this despite Japanese already having the unambiguous word 童貞 dōtei meaning "male virgin"), and is probably more widely understood in Japanese than in English. – senshin Dec 1 '15 at 2:48
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    I've updated my answer further. I'm aware that the terms I offered are uncommon but I considered this question as a more advanced question. It is obvious that virgin is gender-neutral and it can be found in many dictionaries. If the answer is "virgin is gender-neutral" then why all the hassle. I thought OP was interested in other slang terms. – ermanen Dec 1 '15 at 17:43
  • So that's where the phrase to take someone's cherry comes from? – TRiG Dec 2 '15 at 14:37
  • @TRiG: All related terms come from cherry meaning a female virgin (from 1920s). – ermanen Dec 2 '15 at 15:17
  • @TRiG the other way around, it comes from an euphemism for rupturing a woman's hymen. – Jon Hanna Dec 2 '15 at 15:51
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According to the OP, in Norwegian, the word "svenn" has at least three different meanings: an apprentice, a young man who never had intercourse, and an unmarried older man.

"an unmarried man, 30 years or older" as mentioned by the OP, can be referred to as "a celibate" no matter his sexual status.

  • celibate (noun) - a person who abstains from marriage and sexual relations. (typically, but not always, for a religious reason)

A young man who never experienced sex, as mentioned by Jasper in his answer, is a "virgin". It's the usual word to refer to a young man and can be used for both males and females, any age group. Some related words are: chaste, immaculate and virginal. These are adjectives and the first two are not exactly synonymous with "virgin" (noun).

Edit - "celibate" and "virgin" are not synonyms. A celibate abstains from sexual relations and a virgin never had any.

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    -1 Celibate suggests your current lifestyle. You can be celibate without being a virgin – wim Nov 30 '15 at 17:50
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    You can also be a virgin without choosing to be celibate, as I suspect many teenagers would attest. – abligh Nov 30 '15 at 17:53
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    Did you see the quite relevant comment from smci regarding "The 40-Year-Old Virgin"? There is no age limit on being a virgin. The difference I see between "celibate" and "virgin" is that the former word generally refers to an intentional choice, while the latter simply refers to a state (of never having had sex). – sumelic Nov 30 '15 at 22:46
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    The correct term is "virginal". The other suggestions of things like "cherry boy" or "cherry prick" may be correct but are using totally the wrong register. "Chaste" is not so good because it implies that you are choosing to abstain for some specific reason. If you are virginal it simply means that you've never had sex. That's it. – Brandin Dec 1 '15 at 10:51
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    @Jay - "Christians say that Christ was born to a virgin and refer to this as the "immaculate conception"" is a frequently-encountered misunderstanding of "immaculate conception". That actually refers to the conception of Mary, the mother of Jesus. She was conceived and born without original sin. In turn, she conceived Jesus through the Holy Spirit - but that event is NOT the immaculate conception. – Floris Dec 1 '15 at 19:42

protected by Centaurus Dec 1 '15 at 23:01

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