Student or Learner
I have a question about this word. I have an impression that no one would use this word to describe himself. I don't mean that it's derogatory, but that it's simply a word used to talk about others or to others.
I can hear:
I am a boy.
I am a man.
But I never hear:
I am a lad.
Is that right?
(Not a teacher)
In Scotland, 'lad' is common. It's less used to refer to yourself, as it is more a kind of 'term of endearment', so people tend to just use it for others. 'I am but a lad' isn't common, but neither is 'I am but a ___' sentence structure at all. It sounds like it belongs in poetry, or literature. It means 'I am merely a ___'.
The female equivalent, 'lass', is also fairly common. More common than 'lass' is 'lassie'. Again, it is used as an endearing term (or derogatory, in some cases), so it's rarely used to refer to oneself.
Thank you. I don't think it's that uncommon in England either. I actually heard it. My boss at the building site referred to us as 'lads'.
There seems to be quite a few words referring to gender. How about others like 'chap' 'gal'? Are these words still in common use?
I hear them both on Britsh shows.
'lads' is especially common to mean a group of male friends - normally of young adult age.
'I had a night out with the lads.'
'Me and the lads are going golfing this weekend.'
'I've not had a drink down the local with the lads in weeks.'
In this context, which is the same as what your boss said you to, it doesn't mean 'young boy' at all.
Words like 'chap', 'chum', 'laddie' etc are mostly used in a humorous way, not being serious.