Letter: Backward boys

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Sir: Since yobs are in the news, it may be useful to recall the origin of the word. According to Partridge's Dictionary of Slang, it goes back to 1859 and is back-slang for 'boy'. Partridge's first definition is 'a youth', but he adds: 'Hence, a lout, a stupid fellow (rarely girl or woman).'

Yours sincerely,

MERVYN JONES

London, SW1

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