yard boy

vincix

Senior Member
Romanian
I've tried looking on the internet but I haven't been able to find an answer for what 'yard boy' actually means.

This is the context:
"afraid that his materials would be stolen, by appointment if he got a watchman, by yard boys if not"

This is happening in Ghana (Taiye Selasi, Ghana Must Go).
 
  • anthox

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    I'm not from Ghana, so I'm not sure, but I'd take it to mean either 1) local boys who are hired to do menial jobs in the neighborhood, or 2) local boys who roam around looking for scrap or other things to sell.
     

    panjandrum

    Senior Member
    English-Ireland (top end)
    The OED has this definition:
    yard-boy n. a general labourer; a gardener or gardener's boy (obs. exc. Caribbean).

    That doesn't seem to me to match the strong suggestion that yard boys are likely to be thieves.
     

    vincix

    Senior Member
    Romanian
    Yeah, well, I think anthox's second definition is what I'm looking for and the context is self-evident in this respect. It's not exactly thieves, it's on the borderline in a way. It's just people living off scraps. Of course they might take away pretious materials too while they're at it :)
     
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