good old boy

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good old boy (plural good old boys)

  1. (idiomatic) A male friend or chum, especially a schoolmate; a man with an established network of friends who assist one another in social and business situations; a decent, dependable fellow.
    • 1899, Stephen Crane, chapter 5, in Active Service:
      "Billie, what kind of a lad is that young Coke up at Washurst?" He addressed an old college friend. . . .
      "He's one of those Ohio Cokes—regular thing—father millionaire—used to be a barber—good old boy."
    • 1910, H. Rider Haggard, chapter 7, in Queen Sheba's Ring:
      Tell these fellows to say to their Sultan that he is a good old boy, and that we thank him very much.
  2. (idiomatic, chiefly Southern US, sometimes derogatory) A friendly, unambitious, relatively uneducated, sometimes racially biased white man who embodies the stereotype of the folksy culture of the rural southern USA.
    • 1973, "Quick Cuts" (film review), Time, 24 Sep.:
      "White Lightning" concerns a good old boy named Gator McKluskey (Burt Reynolds) who is serving time in the Arkansas pen for messing around with illegal liquor.


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