old man

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See also: oldman, Oldman, and old-man


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Alternative forms[edit]


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old man (plural old men)

  1. An elderly man.
    Synonyms: codger; see also Thesaurus:old man
    Antonym: old lady
  2. (slang) One's father.
    Synonyms: dad, pa; see also Thesaurus:father
    Antonym: old lady
    He smacked me around some. Didn't everybody's old man?
  3. (slang) A husband, or male significant other, irrespective of age.
    Synonym: hubby
    Antonym: old lady
    • 1968, Joan Didion, “Slouching Towards Bethlehem”, in Slouching Towards Bethlehem:
      [] Now if that thing is balling—and your old lady or your old man is off somewhere flashing and doesn't want to be touched—well, you get put down on acid, you can be on a bummer for months.”
  4. (slang) One's male employer, irrespective of age.
    Synonyms: boss, governor
  5. (slang, military) A unit's commanding officer, or the commander of a naval vessel, irrespective of age.
  6. (Britain, dated) Term of address for a male friend, irrespective of age.
    Synonyms: old bean, old chap
    • 1934, P. G. Wodehouse, Right Ho, Jeeves
      “Don't mention it, old man,” I responded courteously.
    • 1958, H. E. Bates, The Darling Buds of May
      'Coming up, coming up, coming up,' Pop said. 'There you are, Charley, old man. Larkin Special. Don't ask what's in it. Don't stare at it. Don't think. Just drink it down. In ten minutes you'll feel perfick again.'
  7. (herbs) Synonym of southernwood
  8. Unregenerate human nature.

Usage notes[edit]

Except for the term of address for a friend, to use the phrase to the face of one's father, employer, etc. would be considered disrespectful or insubordinate.


See also[edit]