Denotation vs. Connotation

old boy

[ohld boi for 1, 2; ohld boi for 3; ohld boi for 4] /ˈoʊld ˈbɔɪ for 1, 2; ˈoʊld ˌbɔɪ for 3; ˌoʊld ˈbɔɪ for 4/
Informal. an adult male, especially a Southerner.
Compare good old boy.
a lively elderly man.
Chiefly British. an alumnus, especially of a boys' preparatory or public school.
Chiefly British, old chap.
Origin of old boy
1595-1605 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for old boy
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Believe me, Nigel, old boy, the Law's the greatest duffer on earth.

  • "That old boy is all right yet," he said, with deep conviction.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • God bless you, old boy; don't be too hard upon me, you know I'm d——d miserable, that I am.

    The Newcomes William Makepeace Thackeray
  • But now to the point: I have come here to be married—married, old boy!

    Night and Morning, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • When the old boy goes into anything, he always does it in good style.

  • It's the joy of our folk to see the old boy once more about.

    One Of Them Charles James Lever
  • He stroked his pale brown hair, and called him repeatedly “Dear old boy.”

  • Give me your hand, old boy; you have done nothing more than your duty.

    Shoulder-Straps Henry Morford
  • "For heaven's sake and your own, don't you suggest that to the old boy when you meet him," said McGlynn with a grin.

    Those Times And These Irvin S. Cobb
British Dictionary definitions for old boy

old boy

(sometimes capitals) (Brit) a male ex-pupil of a school
(informal, mainly Brit)
  1. a familiar name used to refer to a man
  2. an old man
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Slang definitions & phrases for old boy

old boy

noun phrase

A graduate; alumnus: Thousands of Princeton old boys flexed their wrists and learned to Frisbee (1868+ British schools)

Related Terms

good old boy

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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