“Hi guys!” as Salutation

“Hi guys!” said the teacher to her class.

I have strong views on the subject of using “hi guys,” and “you guys” to address children.  I believe it is an inappropriate and unprofessional term to use when addressing two or more people.

How many guys are seated at the table?
How many guys are seated at the table?

Perhaps I learned this as I came of age during the women’s movement of the 1970s and women could not even get a credit card in their own name. Only the “guys” could.

Whether I’m their principal or their college supervisor, I point it out to teachers when they say hi-, you-, or bye- guys.” They’re invariably shocked to realize they use it at all, because it is incorrect to address a group of boys and girls in that manner.  Guys are boys, girls are not.

“Hello friends” or “Hi everyone” are better and inclusive.

For parents, I think it’s a bit more complicated.  Some parents use it as a salutation to greet or shepherd their children out the door.  Other parents feel it is relaxed, informal, friendly, even affectionate.

But using the word “guys” when addressing a group of boys and girls perpetuates the myth that the day of women’s liberation is over.  It is not. We have all kinds of male referenced slang in our language and plenty of phrases in our speech from men’s sports.

Use salutations for your sons and daughters that are inclusive and appropriate.


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