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Chris -- 2018-04-11

#1 2008-07-08 12:42:21

From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2725

boozing buddies << bosom buddies (?)

In English “bosom” can refer to the seat of the emotions. The use of “bosom” to refer to a close companion, one with whom we have strong emotional ties, predates Shakespeare. “Bosom friend” was soon in coinage. “Bosom buddy” had to wait until “buddy” appeared in the nineteenth century, of course, but it was an obvious extension of by then common “bosom friend.” The phrase “bosom buddies” gained new life in the 1980s when it became a title for the sitcom that launched the career of Tom Hanks (Tom and his friend are buddies, but the title also plays on the fact that they spend a lot of time in drag so they can live in a women-only apartment building.).

The sound-alike “boozing buddies” also has deep roots. “Boosing mates” was in use by the 1500s. Presumably “boozing buddies” put in an appearance in the nineteenth century.

Since “bosom,” in the sense of a close friend, has fallen out of everyday speech, “bosom buddies” is no longer a transparent idiom. I wonder how many people who use the phrase “boozing buddies” are really substituting it for “bosom buddies?”

Here are some web citations of “boozing buddies” where the notion of drinking is not front-and-center:

A post to “What a disgrace it is in an International forum for the United States and
the United States Chess Federation to be represented in a forum such a this
by the like Tin Tim Hanke and his boozing buddies.” ( … 29aa?fwc=1)

Quotation in Richmond Times Dispatch about 2002 killings: “When I saw him after that, I would throw up my hand and wave at him, but we weren’t boozing buddies or anything,” (

An opinion on a web site for prisoners: “Then the crooked dicks went to one of their boozing buddies who happened to be a magistrate.” (

Blog post on politics: “People who refuse to acknowledge US and UK State terrorism are fools helping to perpetuate terrorism. I wonder if Christopher Hitchens and Henry Kissenger are boozing buddies these days.” (

Etiquette site on online dating: “No profanity. Save it for your boozing buddies ” (http://www.a-to-z-of-manners-and-etique … ating.html)

Hatching new language, one eggcorn at a time.



#2 2008-07-08 13:27:16

From: Colorado
Registered: 2007-09-05
Posts: 285

Re: boozing buddies << bosom buddies (?)

I would guess your analysis is spot on. Drop the “g” from boozing, and it sounds nearly identical to bosom when followed by “buddies.” Bosom is rarely used anymore except in the plural or the adjective form of bosomed to refer to breasts, so in the male context of the examples you gave, boozin[g] makes more sense to the user when referring to close male friends.

Last edited by JonW719 (2008-07-08 13:29:59)

Feeling quite combobulated.



#3 2008-07-08 21:13:17

Tom Neely
From: Detroit
Registered: 2006-09-01
Posts: 121

Re: boozing buddies << bosom buddies (?)

I submit that Boozing Buddies originally was a pun based on Bosom Buddies. What about Budding Bosoms? (My second politically incorrect breast reference tonight. I need to log out, leg out. Good night, good knight.)



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