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Jeremy Corbyn “the absolute boy”? Give the nickname a rest

What is the quality of boyhood that we would find admirable in this earnest 68-year-old and near teetotal man?

By Sam Leith   September 2017

LENA DUNHAM INSTAGRAM

“The absolute boy…” This phrase, used of Jeremy Corbyn, is a curious one, isn’t it? It seems to be cognate with, or at least from the same drawer as, “total lad” or “top bloke.” Many on the hated Blairite centre-left have criticised it for its implicit sexism. It’s hard to disagree with them. What is the quality of boyhood that we would find admirable in this earnest 68-year-old and near teetotal man? Cheekiness? Liminal sexual potency? Up-for-a-laughness?

This viral nickname is the linguistic token of a…

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