Trend Watch


L.A. Dodgers rookie center-fielder Joc Pederson ...


Lookups spiked May 6 and May 7, 2015.


Grantland writer Jonah Keri wrote a feature on the L.A. Dodgers rookie center-fielder, Joc Pederson, and finished it with "...Pederson is a deserving piece in the lineage of great Dodger boychicks."

Boychick (sometimes also spelled boychik) is a word that not many people are familiar with: it means "a young man" or "a boy." While it looks like a compound made from boy and chick, looks can be deceiving: it's actually an adaptation of the American Yiddish word boytshik. Boytshik is a blend of the English boy and the Yiddish -tshik, which is what we call a "diminutive suffix." Diminutive suffixes are used to communicate a sense of smallness, as in words like kitchenette (a small kitchen) and duckling (a small or baby duck). Diminutives can also be used to communicate a sense of familiarity and love, as in words like cutie and sweetie, as well as the American Yiddish boytshik. Boychick was first used in English written prose in 1951, but has likely been in spoken use for far longer.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!