The guy (The man)

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Antonio, Sep 4, 2005.

  1. Antonio Senior Member

    Hi Group,

    What does "The guy" mean? Means, the same thing as "The man"? or there are pretty much different, in meaning, one to each other?
  2. modgirl Senior Member

    USA English, French, Russian
    Hi Antonio,

    Context makes all the difference in the world! There are probably dozens of meanings, dependent entirely on how the word is used.
  3. Whodunit

    Whodunit Senior Member

    Deutschland ~ Deutsch/Sächsisch
    isn't it like "El uey" in Mexico?
  4. GenJen54

    GenJen54 Senior Member

    Downright Pleasant, USA
    USA - English
    The guy is a more casual term to mean "man," or "young man."

    You might hear young women or teenage girls say "Oh! Look at that cute guy."

    You might also hear young men greet each other with something like "Hey, man," or "Hey, guy."

    Guy is used more in spoken English, while man is used in written English.

    "Hey, guys" is also a colloquial expression used to greet a group of people, regardless of their gender.

    One of my pet peeves is when a young, chirpy waiter approaches me and other female friends at a table and greets us with an overly-cheerful "Hey, guys!" This once happened when I was having lunch with my then 85-year-old grandmother. Needless to say, before he was allowed to take our order, he received a brief etiquette lesson.

    I'm not certain at what age a "guy" becomes a "man" linguistically, but personally I would not refer to someone of my father's age (he's in his 70s) as "guy."

    Our male foreros might have a different take on the matter.
  5. Antonio Senior Member

    Ok, I'II give you context, with no problem:

    "We have to pay the man"
    "He's the man for the job"
    "I can't give you further information, about the brochures, talk to Bill, he's the man"

    My main question is, the man implies the same meaning as the guy or there're pretty much different one to each other?

    P.S. From my point of view, "guey" in Spanish means "dude", "buddy" or "Man" in English.
  6. GenJen54

    GenJen54 Senior Member

    Downright Pleasant, USA
    USA - English
    "We have to pay the guy." - These mean the same thing. If you were working in a formal office, "man" would be better. If you were on a construction site, "guy" is just fine.

    "He's the guy for the job." Again, both of these are correct and may be used. I think in this instance there is a bit of a linguistic nuance in that "man" is regarded a mature, responsible individual who can succeed.

    This construction is a little awkward. I would say something like: "I can't give you further information about the brochures. Bill is the man you need to talk to." You can also leave out "the man" and simply say, "You need to talk to Bill."

    "He's the man" can be used as a stand-alone expression to convey the idea that someone is really hip or cool. "Yea, he's the maaaan." (emphasis placed on man.)
  7. modgirl Senior Member

    USA English, French, Russian
    Actually, the first thing that popped into my mind when reading the original post was Lou Reed's version of the "man" (drug dealer!)
  8. Jenny* Member

    England - English
    I agree with what GenJen54 said.

    Usually they mean exactly the same but 'guy' would be used in relaxed circumstances, among friends or if you're trying to sound casual. For example

    Woman 1: So, who was that I saw you with last night?
    Woman 2: (shrugs) Just some guy I met at the bar...

    It would sound strange to me if woman 2 said "Just some man I met at the bar"
  9. Antonio Senior Member

    Thank you for all your answers, now I understand that the guy and the man mean the same thing. For these contexts and meanings, the man implies the goverment, the best and in some cases the boss, am I right?

    If I'm missing another meaning with context. for the guy and the man, please let me know.
  10. GenJen54

    GenJen54 Senior Member

    Downright Pleasant, USA
    USA - English
    Certainly, the man can mean "the government" in certain contexts, but it is not used as such in everyday vernacular. When it is used as such, it would be considered as slang.
  11. Soldumapraia

    Soldumapraia Member

    American English
    Yes, the term, the man, can mean the government or any other authority figure when used as slang.

    A common phrase is: Stick it to the man!

    This is what someone might say when they want to rally people against their authority figure. A good example of this use can be seen in the movie "School of Rock."

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