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Playboy in Synge's Playboy of the Western World

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Irama, Dec 28, 2012.

  1. Irama Senior Member

    Spanish - Argentina
    What does "playboy" mean exactly in the J M Synge's play "the Playboy of the Western World"? I think it means that a boy that likes jokes, and not the official definition for playboy. Maybe it's an old meaning. Am I wrong? You' d better know the play.



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  2. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    UK
    English - England
    The OED answers your question directly:
     
  3. Irama Senior Member

    Spanish - Argentina
    Thank you for your reply, I knew this meaning for playboy. But I don't think it's the accurate meaning for the main character of the play. He's a poor Irish peasant, and he alledgedly killed his father. However a girl likes him.
     
  4. lucas-sp Senior Member

    English - Californian
    Do you perhaps think this may be an example of irony​?
     
  5. Failey New Member

    German
    I don't think it's irony. Judging from this explanation I found on another site
    In early twentieth-century Ireland, playboy did not have the meaning it has today. Rather, it meant hoaxer or trickster.

    Irama is right to believe that the word used to have a different meaning. I think it has more to do with the fact that Christy tells tall tales... Irama is right to believe that the word used to have a different meaning. I think it has more to do with the fact that Christy tells tall tales...
     
  6. Irama Senior Member

    Spanish - Argentina
    Very useful, thank you! So I guessed that the meaning is different.
     

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