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From side +‎ kick, which in the late 19th and early 20th century was a slang term for the front side pocket of a pair of trousers, known as the pocket safest from theft. Thus, by analogy, a "side-kick" was a person's closest companion.[1][2]





sidekick (plural sidekicks)

  1. (informal) An assistant to another person, especially to a superior or more important person.
    • 2012 May 24, Nathan Rabin, “Film: Reviews: Men In Black 3”, in The Onion AV Club[1]:
      In the abstract, Stuhlbarg’s twinkly-eyed sidekick suggests Joe Pesci in Lethal Weapon 2 by way of late-period Robin Williams with an alien twist, but Stuhlbarg makes a character that easily could have come across as precious into a surprisingly palatable, even charming man.
    • 2021 February 2, Katharine Murphy, The Guardian[2]:
      If representation and recruitment is an objective, self-styled mavericks like Kelly and his Queensland sidekick George Christensen have some utility.
  2. (authorship, figuratively) In literature, theatre/theater, etc., a good foil of the protagonist, a character who helps emphasize the traits of the main character.
    • 2023 October 29, Zoe Williams, “‘An ironic, self-deprecating metrosexual’: how Matthew Perry captured the spirit of the age”, in The Guardian[3], →ISSN:
      So even though he had – no question – the best lines in Friends, he was never what he would have been in an earlier era: the sidekick.








  1. ^ Adams, Cecil. "What's the origin of 'side kick'?" The Straight Dope (April 19, 1976).
  2. ^ Morris, Evan. Word Detective (December 20, 1999).