One ex-gf at one time had had a black bf. Now, bf said to her, concerning a mutual friend “I’ll go by Old Boy’s house before coming over.”
Many years later, a black co-worker said to me “I asked ‘Old Boy’ to come in on his day off.” I knew of whom he spoke, of course, but the reference hit a note.
Later on, he told me that he had asked ‘Old Girl’ to do something. I knew of whom he spoke, but the Old somethingorother rang a bell.
So, in the black community, who is ‘Old Boy’ or where did the name originate?
Not really an answer, but another point of ref: I come from the hard-coal regions of NE PA. We say, “Our lad”, as in “Our lad over there is buying a round.”. Also say “Our lady” where appropriate.
Maybe they were both fans of “From Russia With Love.”
I got nuthin’.
Is this a black thing? I know two guys who talk that way and they’re white.
This is a very common expression here in Mississippi. I’ve heard it mostly from whites though.
ETA: Also, it’s more common among the over-35 crowd. Younger people say ‘dude’. “I saw dude walking on the tracks today”. “Then dude brought me my latte”.
“Old Boy” and “Old Girl” come from the same roots (ouch) as “Old man” and “Old Lady”.
I have friends from Detroit that use it. I haven’t heard it much in California, so it could be a midwest/down south thang.
I knew a group of friends who used it a lot back in the '90s. One of them got punched out in a nightclub for saying “excuse me, old boy” to someone.
We always said “homey” or “homeboy,” semi-ironically.
Now I guess I’d probably say dude if anything, but I’m not really cool enough to have friends who understand slang anymore.
In British public schools, an “Old Boy” is what we would call “an alumnus”.
It was also very commonly used in Britain in the 1930s/40s/50s as a general term. “Hello, old boy! I haven’t seen you in a while.”
I recall Will Smith claiming he was “trying to get a feel for the old girl” in Independence Day.