man Friday

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From the character Friday in Robinson Crusoe (1719) by Daniel Defoe, frequently referred to by the narrator as "my man Friday," with man in the sense of servant or assistant.


man Friday (plural men Friday)

  1. A right-hand man
    • 1945, Karl Popper, The Open Society and Its Enemies:
      Very similar difficulties arise in political parties: the 'Man Friday' of the party leader is seldom a capable successor.
  2. (derogatory) A native or aborigine, especially one who inhabits an island
    • 1966, D. A. Greenhill, Diplomatic cable relating to the depopulation of the Chagos Archipelago:
      Unfortunately along with the birds go some few Tarzans or Man Fridays whose origins are obscure []

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