One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The leading male role in a pantomime, usually played by a woman.
- ‘And for many of the youngsters at the school she says the colourful session was an introduction to panto, including the traditions of principal boys played by young women and pantomime dames played by older men.’
- ‘Chrissie and Claire last combined as principal boy and girl respectively in the January pantomime, Dick Whittington, and now they are taking on the new roles of producer and director.’
- ‘Sara who is one of the strongest principal boys around has had a busy year working in television.’
- ‘The topsy-turvydom of pantomime, in the Italian tradition - the hero played by a girl, the dame by a man - is well on the way out as far as principal boys are concerned.’
- ‘Nicki did reveal that the tradition of a girl playing Peter Pan, the principal boy, would be thrown out of the window.’
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