Green’s Dictionary of Slang

guy n.2

1. (US) a man or boy; thus main guy under main adj.

[UK]E.J. Milliken ‘Cad’s Calendar’ in Punch Almanack n.p.: Fan jest passed me, turned away ’er eyes, / Guess she ranked me with the other guys.
[US]Ade Artie 3: You guys must think I’m a quitter.
[US]‘Hugh McHugh’ John Henry 9: A guy can buy a couple of cosy-corners in a dead swell theatre for fifty cents a coze.
[US]D.G. Rowse Doughboy Dope 41: Guys who otherwise only regard the matter tentatively have to take a shave.
[UK]‘Sapper’ Black Gang 477: He’s dead. This guy threw him on the live wires.
[US](con. 1910s) J.T. Farrell Young Lonigan in Studs Lonigan (1936) 68: The guys all chipped in to buy lunch.
[US]Mezzrow & Wolfe Really the Blues 12: Three guys who commanded a lot of respect in the prison.
[US]M. Spillane One Lonely Night 15: What kind of a guy am I, kitten?
[US]H. Selby Jr Last Exit to Brooklyn (1966) 101: He had had more than one book pulled, for no reason at all, from more than one guy.
[US](con. 1960s) R. Price Wanderers 13: I gotta see this guy.
[UK]Smiley Culture ‘Cockney Translation’ [lyrics] Cockney say blokes. We say guys.
[US]Tarantino & Avery Pulp Fiction [film script] 13: Sent a couple of guys over to his place.
[UK]Observer Mag. 27 Feb. 23: I kicked the shit out of this guy.

2. a general term of address, repopularized in 1970s+ among young UK blacks, and now in general teen use.

[Aus] in Seal (1999) 59: The Yank: ‘Say Guy, how far to battle?’.
[US]Wood & Goddard Dict. Amer. Sl.
[UK]L. Duncan Over the Wall 326: I’m giving you the straight dope, guy.
[US]I. Shulman Amboy Dukes 62: We have to hurry, guy, because I’m hungry.
‘Bailey Morgan’ ‘Dig that Crazy Corpse’ in Pursuit Mar. (2008) 156: Look me up some time, guy.
[US]T. Southern Blue Movie (1974) 29: ‘Hi, guys,’ he said in the sepulchral tones of the New York stage.
[UK]N. Barlay Curvy Lovebox 175: It’s really got be two minutes guy.
[US]J. Lerner You Got Nothing Coming 319: No problem, guy, I got a few things to take care of myself.

3. (US) a woman.

[UK]J. Diprose London Life 24: But here’s another – guy! as the rude boys would say – a lady, but by no means young.
[US] letter in M. Baldwin Canteening Overseas (1920) 125: Alice and I won’t have to leave the Division [...] Aren’t we the lucky guys?
[US]V.G. Burns Female Convict (1960) 138: There are some mighty hard-boiled guys here now.
[UK]M. Panter-Downes ‘Cut Down the Trees’ Wartime Stories (1999) 148: ‘Yeah,’ he said, ‘yeah, Queen Mary. She’s another grand old guy.’.
[US]S. Lewis Kingsblood Royal (2001) 235: You know, you’re a good guy, lady.
[UK]D. Gram Foxes (1980) 11: Well, do something, you guys.
[US]P. Cornwell Point of Origin (1999) 190: Is there any reason Carrie might know where you guys live?

4. a boyfriend, a lover.

[US]N. Heard Howard Street 43: So you my guy’s brother, huh?

5. a person, irrespective of gender.

[US]Fantastic Four Annual 34: Sorry, guys. I guess I blew it.
[US]LaBarge & Holt Sweetwater Gunslinger 201 (1990) 170: I love you Mom. You guys [parents] are great!
[US](con. 1986) G. Pelecanos Sweet Forever 38: Maybe you guys can still make the show.

6. (US campus) in ironic reversal, an incompetent, an inadequate.

[US]P. Munro Sl. U. 98: John is such a guy — just look at that calculator in his shirt pocket.

7. (US) an object, a thing.

[US]T. Lorenz Guys Like Us 90: Here [...] have one of these tasty guys [i.e. a pastry].
[US] advert for M & M’s Good Morning [CBS-TV] I love these guys [HDAS].