AskDefine | Define houseboy

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Noun

  1. A male domestic servant

Extensive Definition

Houseboy, typically is a male servant or assistant who performs domestic or personal chores, as in:
  • Houseboy, an American slang term that originated in World War II describing a native boy who helped a soldier perform basic responsibilities like cleaning, laundry, ironing, shoe-shining, running errands, and the like. However, unlike the American "bootleboy" or British "batman", a houseboy was not employed by an officer or noncommissioned officer but by the entry-level soldier or private as a means to reduce a very heavy workload or to cut corners on a large amount of work. The employment was at first condoned but later and especially during the Korean War soldiers who were caught employing a houseboy faced stiff penalties because a lot of them became expert thieves and could be either bribed for information or have their relatives kidnapped or killed for helping Americans. By 1982, Korean houseboys were again permitted (as at Camp Casey), generally middle-aged men conspicuously older than the young troops they served.
  • Houseboy, a Commonwealth term for a male housecleaner. This was usually a man of colour who worked for an English family living in a Commonwealth country. A female housecleaner is called a housegirl. Houseboys and housegirls often have to wear a uniform.
  • Houseboy is the name of a diary-form novel written by Ferdinand Oyono that criticizes the morality of colonialism.
  • In the gay community, a houseboy is typically a younger gay male, while his host is an older, usually wealthy, gay man. While there may or may not be a romantic/physical relationship, an atmosphere of personal intimacy and mutual support is at the basis of the arrangement. Both houseboys and single hosts often date and form romantic/physical relationships outside of the home. However, few houseboys have a significant other when assuming their position.
  • In the female domination subculture, a houseboy lives with his Mistress, for whom he handles all of the domestic chores. The Mistress is usually, though not always, older than the houseboy and they may or may not have a sexual relationship.
houseboy in Swedish: Houseboy
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