down; down boy! Back off, don't get too frisky, said to a male by a female.
The reference is broad and blatant as the title of A Girl's Guide to Housebreaking a Man. The more specific usage is evident in Strip Jack; Ian Rankin's fictional detective, John Rebus reaches out for his female companion, Patience Aitken. “She narrowed her eyes. ‘Down boy,’ she said. Then before he could make a grab for her again, she fled from the bathroom.”
down boy! (polling) In Spot the Spin, Alan Kay defines this as a term for a polling strategy to discourage knee-jerk responses. “When required to ask questions on issues with any depth and complexity, especially if the issue is highly controversial because a highly contested vote will likely be in the headlines when their latest findings will be released [pollsters] add an additional response: ‘—or don't you know enough to say?’” The effect is to say, “Down boy.”
1. Hamilton, Lisa. 2004. Down Boy! A Girl's Guide to Housebreaking a Man. Kansas City, Mo.: Andrews McNeel Pub.
2. Rankin, Ian. 1994. Strip Jack. 1st U.S. ed. New York: St. Martin's Press
3. Kay, Alan F. 2004. Spot the Spin: The Fun Way to Democracy Alive & Elections Honest. Victoria, B.C. Canada: Trafford Publishing.