[Ads-l] early "buddy"

Peter Reitan pjreitan at HOTMAIL.COM
Tue Mar 15 01:47:55 UTC 2016

Buddy might come from British, Butty - a business partner?
A glossary of words from Cheshire from 1829 lists: Butty,
s. in those parts of Cheshire adjoining to Staffordshire and Shropshire is used
as a companion in any work or labour.  As
the word Boot signifies in general advantage, profit, help; so I take Butty to
be merely a helpmate.
Roger Wilbraham, An Attempt at a Glossary of Some Words Used in Cheshire, 1826. [HathiTrust]

A dictionary of British provincialisms published in 1836 lists: "Butty, a partner in any business or work, North, Warwick.  Probably from abouter, Fr. To prop; to support; a partner being a support."
William Holloway, General Dictionary of Provincialisms, 1839. [HathiTrust]

Two later dictionaries (John Camden Hotten's Slang Dictionary, 1864 and Walter Skeat's Original Glossaries, 1876 [both HathiTrust]) give similar definitions, and place the word in "the mining districts" or "North Warwickshire."  Warwickshire is coal mining district.

history and description of fossil fuel, the collieries, and coal trade of Great
Britain, London, Whittaker, (1835) notes that the term, "Butty," denoted a specific type of operational manager of a colliery, at least in some parts of Staffordshire; this is consistent with one of the meanings given in Hotten's Slang Dictionary.

Etymonline.com lists Butty as a possible origin of Buddy; with 1802 as the earliest known date of Butty as "British colloquial, companion."

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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