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Young girls are the chatelaines of truth; they must see that it is protected, that the guilty lead the life of the guilty, even if the world rocks on its foundations ~ Jean Giraudoux

A girl is a young female human usually a child or an adolescent. When a girl becomes an adult, she is accurately described as a woman. However, the term girl is also used for other meanings, including young woman, and is sometimes used as a synonym for daughter, or girlfriend. Girl may also be a term of endearment used by an adult, usually a woman, to designate adult female friends.

For the TV show, see Girls (TV Show)
Girls are so queer you never know what they mean. They say no when they mean yes, and drive a man out of his wits just for the fun of it. ~ Louisa May Alcott
Young girl smiling in sunshine
Girl riding her skateboard

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  • Girls are so queer you never know what they mean. They say no when they mean yes, and drive a man out of his wits just for the fun of it.
  • Man's love is of man's life a thing apart;
    Girls aren't like that.
    • Kingsley Amis, A Bookshop Idyll (1956)
    • Cf. Lord Byron, Don Juan, "Man's love is of man's life a thing apart, / 'Tis woman's whole existence."
  • Most plain girls are virtuous because of the scarcity of opportunity to be otherwise.
    • Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969), Ch. 35.
  • Next to being married, a girl likes to be crossed in love a little now and then. It is something to think of, and gives her a sort of distinction among her companions.


  • Those girls who give themselves to the man they love before marriage really succeed in cheating themselves. I know and understand how strong the temptation is, but also I know something else: there is nothing else more beautiful and wonderful than sexual love between marriage partners- when that love is entered into and blessed by God. Why would anyone want to accept anything less?
    • Anita Bryant, Mine Eyes Have Seen The Glory (1970). Old Tappan: Fleming H. Revell Company, p. 66


  • A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.
    • Coco Chanel, Gaille, Brandon (July 23, 2013). "List of 38 Famous Fashion Quotes and Sayings". Retrieved November 15, 2013.
  • In the summer, girls come and summer girls go. Some are worth while and some are so-so.


  • “You were speaking about its being a girl,” said Miss Betsey. “I have no doubt it will be a girl. I have a presentiment that it must be a girl. Now child, from the moment of the birth of this girl—”
    “Perhaps boy,” my mother took the liberty of putting in.
    “I tell you I have a presentiment that it must be a girl,” returned Miss Betsey.



  • "Fiddlesticks," Mother said. "Anything he will learn about sixteen-year-old girls from you will probably be a good deal more innocent than what he will learn some day from sixteen-year-old girls."
    • William Faulkner, The Town (1957), Ch. 12.
    • Charles Mallinson's mother telling her brother Gavin Stevens that it's all right to say what he has to say in front of the boy.


  • When one is not used to it, it is difficult to be recollected in the middle of a crowd of more or less wild little girls, who in class do the bare minimum that will keep them out of trouble and in play-time go right off their heads.
    • Henri Ghéon, The Secret of the Little Flower (Sainte Thérèse de Lisieux, 1934), Ch. IV: Teresa at School, trans. Donald Attwater. London: Sheed & Ward, 1934, p. 51.
  • Young girls are the chatelaines of truth; they must see that it is protected, that the guilty lead the life of the guilty, even if the world rocks on its foundations.
    • Jean Giraudoux, Electra (1937), Act I, trans. Phyllis La Farge with Peter H. Judd.
  • Recently Anita and I judged a beauty contest where the girls answered questions about marriage and motherhood. Several said, "I think I'll be a good mother. I plan to stay with my children full-time until nursery school, and then I can go out and work. Seems as though the girls think it's okay to raise their kids until nursery school, then let others do it from then on. Sure, plenty of husbands want that, too. Some parents ship their kids off to school or camp all summer just to get rid of them. Most of the girls we interviewed in this contest said they saw nothing unusual about having sexual intercourse before marriage. These are so-called nice girls, eighteen and nineteen, who without batting an eyelash tell you, "I don't think there's anything wrong with living together before marriage." You ask why, and discover many come from broken homes. They don't want to make the mistakes their parents made. They'd rather avoid marriage completely.
    • Bob Green, Bless This House (1972) by Anita Bryant and Bob Green. Old Tappan: Fleming H. Revell Company, p. 18-19
  • As Anita and I travel about the country, we can't help but believe the sexes are getting closer together. There's not as much difference between boys and girls as there used to be. Many young men today seem to have abandoned the male role. They refuse to be heads of households. I don't think a serious young woman should marry someone like that because I don't think she's going to change him. It's frightening. I don't know if physical appearance or mode of attire or these things make the difference, but it seems guys are more docile. They're almost feminine in manner and dress, and their attitudes toward girls are very lackadaisical and ungallant.
    • Bob Green, Bless This House (1972) by Anita Bryant and Bob Green. Old Tappan: Fleming H. Revell Company, p. 141-142
  • A good many girls these days assume the male role and call boys for dates. I have a nagging feeling that boys are going to get less and less interested in girls as a result. The intrigue is going. If a girl wants to put herself on an equal plane with the boy, she's going to find herself less and less in demand. It used to be that if guys wanted to date a sharp girl they had to polish the car and fix themselves up- and compete. If they don't have to do that, they're going to lose interest. Maybe girls phone boys from necessity. Maybe the boys don't have that get-up-and-go- that desire. I see an extreme lack of desire in young men today.
    • Bob Green, Bless This House (1972) by Anita Bryant and Bob Green. Old Tappan: Fleming H. Revell Company, p. 142


  • When I was 13, I was flat as a board and totally unhappy about it. I would write in my diary every day, Oh, if I could just have a B cup by summer! I actually prayed for big boobs. So I developed at about 14, and then I was 15, 16, 17, and they kept going.
  • Oh God — I look back now, and it seems so gross. At just 14 years old, I had to wear a thong bikini. And then they used that scene in the trailer, so my entire school saw it! There are still men who come up to me today and say, "You were really hot in that film!" I was 14, for God's sake!
  • Girls were made to love and kiss.


  • A girl and a guinea are both alike. You never know how good they are till you ring them.
    • Jean Ingelow, John Jerome, his Thoughts and Ways, Chapter 7 (1886).



  • A young girl's beauty should speak to the soul and to the imagination, and not to the senses like the beauty of women.


  • As for gender, the abstinence-only curricula continue to exhibit what Michelle Fine described a decade ago: the peer doing the pressuring is male; the refuser-delayer is female. Some mainstream publishers set out to fix this in the 1990s. "Reducing the Risk," for instance, employs a novel approach: it names one of its fictional couples Lee and Lee, who evince no obvious gender traits and take turns aggressing and thwarting aggression. In Lee and Lee, the ideology of chastity has trumped women's liberation. Now, boys are expected to desire as little as girls.


  • In country music, the singers are really soulful, and you can just hear all the emotion on their voices. They mean everything they say. And R&B is the same way. It's like every note, every word, is telling you exactly how the singers feel about what they're singing about. It's just that in country music, all that feeling is usually about a truck, and in R&B, it's more often about a girl. And for me, girls are a lot more fun to sing about than a truck.


  • The young girl stood beside me. I
    Saw not what her young eyes could see:
    —A light, she said, not of the sky
    Lives somewhere in the Orange Tree.
    • Shaw Neilson, Ballad and Lyrical Poems (1923), "The Orange Tree".


  • Afghanistan is becoming the world’s largest humanitarian crisis... 18.8 million Afghans are unable to feed themselves every day. This number is set to rise to nearly 23 million by the end of the year... However, starvation is not the only issue faced by children. As UNICEF warns “Afghanistan was already one of the toughest places on earth to be a child. Right now, the situation is desperate.” The situation deteriorates quickly as the country is on a brink of famine.
    Recent weeks have seen yet another trend: families selling their children, and mostly girls, so that families could buy food. In one of reported cases, a six-year-old girl and 18-month-old toddler were sold for $3,350 and $2,800 respectively. In another reporting, a 9-year-old girl was sold for about $2,200 in the form of sheep, land and cash. There are many more such stories.... Some of these girls will become child brides... Child marriage are also a major violation of their human rights and can sometimes amount to a form of modern day slavery. While poverty may drive child marriage, child marriage traps girls in a cycle of poverty. Child marriage further puts girls at risk of physical and sexual abuse...Some of the girls will be turned into child laborers... The people of Afghanistan cannot be left to starve. Afghan girls cannot be sacrificed.
  • Dear to the heart of a girl is her own beauty and charm.
    • Ovid, The Art of Beauty (c. A.D. 8), trans. Rolfe Humphries.


  • And there was that wholesale libel on a Yale prom. If all the girls attending it were laid end to end, Mrs. Parker said, she wouldn't be at all surprised.
    • Dorothy Parker, quoted in Alexander Woollcott, "Our Mrs. Parker", While Rome Burns (New York: The Viking Press, 1934), p. 149.
    • This was the first appearance in print of Parker's famous quote, subsequently often put into direct speech as "If all the girls attending the Yale prom were laid end to end, I wouldn't be at all surprised."
  • Sugar, spice and everything nice. These were the ingredients chosen to create the perfect little girls.


  • The laughter of girls is, and ever was, among the delightful sounds of earth.
    • Thomas De Quincey, "Coleridge and Opium-Eating" (1845), in Coleridge and Opium-Eating and Other Writings (Edinburgh: Adam and Charles Black, 1862), footnote on p. 85.


  • The eroticization of innocence and the fascination with the erotic child are deeply gendered. From depictions of sexualized images of prepubescent girls in the Victorian era (Higonnet 1998) to the Lolita-like commodification of little girls as sexual consumers and performers in contemporary society (Giroux 2000; Walkerdine 1999; Jackson 1982), it is the girl-child, not the boy-child, whose innocence is eroticized. And it is the eroticization of little girls that provokes our (adult) concern for their protection. Indeed, societal anxieties around girls as we enter the first decade of the twenty-first century continue to circle around what Walkerdine has termed the "protosexual" girl. It is the sexual girl that represents the "Other" to normal childhood, where "normal girls as well behaved, hard working and asexual" (Wakerdine 1999, 4).
    • Emma Renold, "Primary School 'Studs': (De)constructing Young Boys' Heterosexual Masculinities", reprinted from Men and Masculinities, Volume 9, Number 3 (2007), 275-297 in Sexualities: Identities, Behaviors, and Society (2004), 2nd Edition (2015) by Michael Kimmel and The Stony Book Sexualities Research Group (editors), p. 79









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