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A houseboy (alternatively spelled as houseboi) was a term which referred to a typically male domestic worker or personal assistant who performed cleaning and other forms of personal chores. The term has a record of being used in the British Empire, military slang, and the male LGBT community.
Historically, houseboy was a term used in the British Empire for a male domestic servant. He was usually, but not always, a native person who worked for a British family living in the non-British regions of the empire. A female housecleaner was termed a housegirl. Both sexes often wore uniform, due to their status as domestic servants.
Houseboy was also used as an American slang term originating in the Second World War for a young teenager who helped American soldiers perform basic responsibilities like cleaning, laundry, ironing, shoe-shining, running errands, etc. The British English term for this occupation was 'Batman'.
In popular culture
- The cartoon character Mr. Magoo had a houseboy.
- The Houseboy, a 1973 stage play by Irving Wardle, was produced by ITV in 1982.
- The Houseboy, a 2007 LGBT film starring Nick May.
- Houseboy, a novel written by Cameroonian diplomat Ferdinand Oyono about a young African boy during the period of French colonial rule.
- Bachelor Father, a 1957–62 American TV series starring John Forsythe and Sammee Tong as his Chinese houseboy.
- wikt:Garçon, the French word for "boy", also used as an occupational title
- House officer, previously "houseman", various grades of doctor in British hospitals
- House slave, as opposed to field slaves, during the period of slavery in the United States
- "Would You Mind Disrobing, James? - NYU Livewire". journalism.nyu.edu.
- "Please check the URL for proper spelling and case sensitivity". Houseboy.com. Retrieved 2018-09-22.