Brit dopers , whats a geezer

After watching lock stock and two smoking barrels, one of the scenes got me to question this term.

The only other time I have heard it being mentioned, is an old geezer. Thinking its more like an old chap or something like that. But the way the one character phrased it , it seemed to have become something more, something like a made man.

Any info


It’s one of these terms with subtley-shifting meanings, depending on context, the speaker and the audience. Both of your interpretations are right - in most situations, it doesn’t have any very specific connotations, but used in a Cockney context, it does have a faint sense of praise or deference. Not necessarily to a wealthier person, but someone to be respected.

Well, from the Cassell’s Dictionary of Slang:
geezer n. [late 19C+] 1 a man. a ‘bloke’. 2 [1940’s+] a confidence trickster’s victim. [dial. pron. of 15C guiser, a mummer (OED); E.P.* wonders if Wellington’s troops might not have picked it up from the Basque giza, a man, during the Peninsular War (1808-1814).]

geezer n. [1910-1940’s] (US) a drink of whisky or strong alcohol. [Lincolnshire dial. geezer, a state of drunkenness.]

geezer n. (drugs) 1 [1920’s+] an injection of a narcotic drug. 2 [1920’s+] the equipment with which one injects. 3 [1960’s+] (US) a heroin addict.

geezer n. [1980’s+] (Irish) a cat. [etymology unknown.]
Please note these definitions are given for completeness (at least as far as Cassell’s is concerned).

Notwithstanding the above, whenever I hear the word I think of Paul Whitehouse in The Fast Show who, amongst other characters, plays

The photo next to the article is not that of the Chris Jackson character.

Finally, one of the members of Status Quo is called ‘Geezer’ Butler.

*Presumably Eric Partridge.

Never mind what the dictionaries say. A geezer is normally just a bloke; an unnamed male human. “See that geezer over there with the big nose?”.

Unhappily, lots of British people seem to have adopted the awful word “guy” instead, which is a pity because British English has so many of its own words for such a person.

I am not entirely sure your view is consistent with the aim of these forums, which is to fight ignorance.

My post is clear and unambiguous.

"Geezer"Butler plays bass and was the primary songwriter for Black Sabbath.

Don’t know if this helps, but The Streets say that “Geezers need excitement”

I think you mean one of the members of Black Sabbath. A check of Status Quo’s web page doesn’t list Butler as a current member and doesn’t seem to have a list of former members. The BBC’s more extensive history of Status Quo doesn’t list Geezer Butler anywhere.

My apologies.

And I just commented that we are trying to fight ignorance.

Thank you.

Chez Guevara, I don’t see how quoting every definition in Cassell’s Dictionary of Slang helped much, since most of them are irrelevant to Declan’s question. According to the OED, “geezer” just means “man.” It tends to be used mostly in the phrase “old geezer,” which is why a North American might assume it refers strictly to an old man. In the U.K. though, it’s often used about a man who’s in some criminal enterprise, which is why in your one quote is used about a “wide boy,” which, as a North American might not know, is a particular type of criminal.

I wrote:

> . . . why in your one quote is used about a “wide boy,” . . .

I meant:

> . . . why in your one quote it’s used in reference to a “wide boy,” . . .

Of course the word ‘guy’ comes from Guy Fawkes day. Not exactly an Americanism. (Though I will admit that it has become so.)

According to Etymonline, the current meaning is an Americanism.

There’s also the late, great Ginger Geezer.

Apologies. But dictionaries don’t always give the right meaning of words. And my dislike of “guy” is entirely personal.

I totally agree with you and unequivocally wihdraw my entire post.

I think you’re being a bit unfair on Chez Guevara. Wendell Wagner - I was interested to hear the various explanations of etymologies of ‘geezer’, from a source I would not have found by myself. Isn’t that what this place is about?

As an answer to Declan’s original question, the first half of Krokodil’s post was not only irrelevant, but the rambling quality of it made it more likely that someone could miss the real answer in the second half of his post. The fact that “geezer” has other meanings relevant to the subject of whiskey, drugs, and cats is nice to know, but it doesn’t have anything to do with the question in the OP. Declan wanted to know about the meaning of “man.” The answer is that, basically, “geezer” just means a man, although some people take it to mean particularly an old man and some take it to mean particularly a man associated with criminal enterprises.

In that context, I believe “geezers” tends towards specifially referring to their gender.

But again, in contemporary usage, this does definitely not refer to old men, but young (drunken) men.

True to the spirit of Krokodil, you are presumably referring to those Dopers a) with an attention span of less than 30 seconds or b) have not yet learned to read properly.

But again, I think you are right. I can’t ever recall a post in these forums some of which was slightly off topic. If you are truly concerned about this, and in the interests of harmonious Doper relations, please email me with your address and I will send you some flowers.

Please state choice of bloom.

So you believe that wasting bandwidth is more important than clarity?