girl Friday(redirected from a girl Friday)
A female assistant who is capable of many different types of tasks. Based on the term "man Friday," the term can be considered sexist. I like to have my daughter be my girl Friday during "take your child to work" day. She's a better worker than some of my employees!
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
Also, gal Friday. An efficient and faithful female assistant, as in I'll have my girl Friday get the papers together. The expression plays on man Friday, a name for a devoted male servant or assistant. The name Friday comes from Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe, whose shipwrecked hero named the young native who became his faithful companion for the day of the week when he found him. In the mid-1900s Friday was applied to a male servant and then a women secretary or clerk who works for a man. The expression girl Friday gained currency through a motion picture starring Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell, His Girl Friday (1940). Today it tends to be considered condescending and, applied to a woman, sexist.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Trusted assistant. This term comes from Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe (1719), in which Crusoe found a young savage on a Friday, and this man became his faithful servant and companion on the desert island. “I take my man Friday with me,” said Crusoe. Some mid-twentieth-century advertising pundit invented “girl Friday”—or gal Friday—to describe the female clerk-of-all-work, presumably on the assumption that it lent some glamour to a low-level, poorly paid position. It caught on mainly through being used as the title of a 1940 motion picture starring Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell, His Girl Friday. In the 1970s, when affirmative action came to the American labor market, the term fell into disrepute.
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer