Origins of the term Tomboy?

Aitken, J. E. AitkenJ at UMKC.EDU
Wed Nov 17 00:34:53 UTC 1999

I'm forwarding a question from a colleague.  You can answer her directly or
to the list.  Thanks.  Joan

From:         "Samantha M. Cahill" <cahil002 at MAILHOST1.CSUSM.EDU>
Organization: CSUSM
Subject:      Origins of the term Tomboy
To:           WMST-L at UMDD.UMD.EDU


I just came from a rather interesting discussion in a course on the social
construction of women's sexuality.   The readings for the class included
readings on female masculinity.  In the discussion on this topic the category
of "tomboy" was discussed. One particularly interesting point that was made by
a student was the way in which the identification of "tomboy" was still a move
towards being male identified, as opposed to characteristic of female identity.
At this point the term itself came into question, and no one was able to
pinpoint the origin of the term.

Is there any critical literature out there on the origin of this term, when it
was first used, and how it came to be defined in its contemporary sense?


~ hello from joan e. aitken <aitkenj at>

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