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The English word girl first appeared during the Middle Ages between 1250 and 1300 CE and came from the Anglo-Saxon words gerle . The Anglo-Saxon word gerela meaning dress or clothing item also seems to have been used as a metonym in some sense.
Girl has meant any young unmarried woman since about 1530. Its first noted meaning for sweetheart is 1648. The earliest known appearance of girl-friend is in 1892 and girl next door, meant as a teenaged female or young woman with a kind of wholesome appeal, dates only to 1961. (source : wikipedia)