From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search
See also: Buddy




  • IPA(key): /ˈbʌd.i/
  • Audio (US):(file)
  • Rhymes: -ʌdi

Etymology 1


First appears c. 1788, in the writings of Charles Dibdin. Possibly from *bruddy, *bruthy, a child-talk alteration of brother.[1][2] Alternatively, perhaps from British colloquial butty (companion), also the form of an older dialect term meaning workmate, associated with coal mining. Itself believed derived from 1530 as booty fellow, a partner with whom one shares booty or loot.[3]



buddy (plural buddies)

  1. A friend or casual acquaintance.
    Synonyms: bud, mate; see also Thesaurus:friend
    They have been buddies since they were in school.
    • 1951, J. D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye, Boston, Mass.: Little, Brown and Company, →OCLC, page 23:
      He told us we ought to think of Jesus as our buddy and all. He said he talked to Jesus all the time. Even when he was driving his car. That killed me.
  2. A partner for a particular activity.
    Synonyms: companion, partner
    drinking buddies
    training buddies [mentor/mentee]
  3. An informal and friendly address to a stranger, usually male; a friendly (or occasionally antagonistic) placeholder name for a person one does not know.
    Synonyms: mate, fellow
    Hey, buddy, I think you dropped this.




  1. (Maritime English) A person far removed from the conversation.
    I found some earphones in the pocket, buddy must have been pissed.
    Buddy's loaded. 'Got like three houses.
Derived terms



buddy (third-person singular simple present buddies, present participle buddying, simple past and past participle buddied)

  1. (transitive) To assign a buddy, or partner, to.
    • 2007, Philip Briggs, Danny Edmunds, Mozambique: The Bradt Travel Guide[1], →ISBN, page 86:
      If you are being formally buddied, have a good chat with your buddy and find out their interests -- these should more or less match your own.

Etymology 2


From Middle English buddy, buddi, equivalent to bud +‎ -y.



buddy (comparative more buddy, superlative most buddy)

  1. Resembling a bud.
    • 1963, John Herbert Goddard, Chrysanthemum Growers' Treasury, page 18:
      Some of the dwarfer varieties are full of buddy growths in the early stages and these must be cut down and thrown away.


  1. ^ buddy”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.
  2. ^ buddy”, in Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, Springfield, Mass.: Merriam-Webster, 1996–present.
  3. ^ Douglas Harper (2001–2024) “buddy”, in Online Etymology Dictionary, retrieved November 2008.