Student or Learner
I've just learned the word "tyro". I find it hard to find out how the word is used. It seems to be quite rare. What would you think of a person who'd used it? Is it more common in some areas than in others? Is it used in speech or just in writing? Is it more common among older people?
It's a word I have to look up on the very rare occasions that I see it. Intellectually I know that it means 'novice/beginner', but I always have to check. It has 18 citations in BNC, 31 in COCA. I doubt if I have met it ten times in my life.
It strikes me as the sort of word that we who like to think of ourselves as intelligent are supposed to know
but rarely do.
Boris Yeltsin's reported reference to President Clinton as a political tyro and, worse, a socialist, is a good example of the problem that is posed for American liberals by the Soviet collapse.
I have never come across the word in my entire life. When I saw the thread title I assumed it was a typo of "typo"! Had I read the newspaper piece which said "Clinton was a political tyro" I would have assumed it was an error, or a strange abbreviation of "tyrant".
Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.
I was going to say that I would think it was a typo for "pyro."
Ten minutes of frustrated head-scratching later, I worked it out. I have heard it in an American teen movie, which is interesting considering we mostly seem to be agreeing that it's rather obscure - but then the context seems to support that to some extent, when you look a little closer.
The movie in question is "Bring it On" (about teenage cheerleaders) and the quote goes:
Darcy: Bring on the tyros, the neophytes and the dilettanti.
Jan: S.A.T.s are over, Darcy.
Darcy: And you're still jealous of my score.
I tried to find a video clip but can't, which is a shame as the context is that the cheerleader named Darcy had created her own cheer to help her learn a long list of 'hard' words for her SAT exams, and the cheer itself is well worth watching for both comedy and educational value. If I remember correctly you only see part of it in the film itself but the whole things is on the DVD as an extra, and probably therefore on youtube somewhere.