Re: RARA-AVIS: Wide boy

From: E.Borgers (
Date: 21 Dec 2004

>On a side note, the term "wide boy" is used twice in this book. I'm
>very familiar with this term for criminals from Brit books, but this is
>the first I've seen it in a US book. Has this slang now become common
>usage in the US?
>By the way, anyone know the derivation? Wide lapels, maybe?
My Shorter Slang Dictionnary (UK Routledge- 1994) gives a *possible* origin: wide-awake (= alert). The expression "wide boy" is in use since the 1930s in the UK, meaning a boy or youg man who lives by his wits, full of shrewdness and unscrupulousness.

Maybe some Brits of R-A could give you a better ethymology.

E.Borgers Hard-Boiled Mysteries

------------------------ Yahoo! Groups Sponsor --------------------~-->
$4.98 domain names from Yahoo!. Register anything.

RARA-AVIS home page:
  Yahoo! Groups Links

<*> To visit your group on the web, go to:

<*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:

<*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to:

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 21 Dec 2004 EST