A lot vs. Alot: 9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[lad] /læd/
a boy or youth.
Informal. a familiar or affectionate term of address for a man; chap.
British Horseracing Informal. a stable boy.
late Old English
1250-1300; Middle English ladde < ?; compare late Old English Ladda (nickname)
Related forms
laddish, adjective
ladhood, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for lads
  • The idea was to get these lads to display themselves as well-rounded human beings.
  • Needless to say, the viewer is inclined to be in complete and impatient agreement with these lads.
  • The lads have noticed this and teasingly suggest that the overweight, fiftyish bachelor should kidnap her.
  • Aye, the gangsters of this time had nothing on the lads of old when it came to snuffing out lives for a share in a million pounds.
  • In fact, aside from occasional fits of self-consciousness, the performances of all these lads are highly praiseworthy.
  • But the lads who carried the koppie and cannot be known.
  • Wise lads and old fools were never good for anything.
  • Two lads in the crowd snatched up whips and ran to the mare to beat her about the ribs.
  • At sowing and reaping, after a triumphal procession, one of the lads was slain by being punctured with a poisoned arrow.
  • Ragged street arabs and rough sailor-lads crowded about him.
British Dictionary definitions for lads


a boy or young man
(informal) a familiar form of address for any male
a lively or dashing man or youth (esp in the phrase a bit of a lad)
a young man whose behaviour is characteristic of male adolescents, esp in being rowdy, macho, or immature
(Brit) a boy or man who looks after horses
Word Origin
C13 ladde; perhaps of Scandinavian origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for lads



c.1300, ladde "foot soldier," also "young male servant" (attested as a surname from late 12c.), possibly from a Scandinavian language (cf. Norwegian -ladd, in compounds for "young man"), but of obscure origin in any case. OED hazards a guess on Middle English ladde, plural of the past participle of lead (v.), thus "one who is led" (by a lord). Liberman derives it from Old Norse ladd "hose; woolen stocking." "The development must have been from 'stocking,' 'foolish youth' to 'youngster of inferior status' and (with an ameliorated meaning) to 'young fellow.'" He adds, "Words for socks, stockings, and shoes seem to have been current as terms of abuse for and nicknames of fools." Meaning "boy, youth, young man" is from mid-15c. Scottish form laddie, a term of endearment, attested from 1540s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Related Abbreviations for lads


  1. leukocyte adhesion deficiency
  2. leukocyte antibody detection assay
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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