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1802, 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.[1]

Sometimes referred to in North American dictionaries as an alteration of brother.



buddy (plural buddies)

  1. A friend or casual acquaintance.
    They have been buddies since they were in school.
  2. A partner for a particular activity.
    drinking buddies
  3. An informal and friendly address to a stranger; a friendly placeholder name for a person one does not know.
    Hey, buddy, I think you dropped this.


  • (friend or acquaintance): mate
  • (address to a stranger): mate

Derived terms[edit]



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

  1. To assign a buddy, or partner.
    • 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.


  1. ^ buddy” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001–2018, retrieved November 2008.