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Better-than-best friend

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Topic: 9) Better-than-best friend (1 of 4), Read 104 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Barbara Wallraff (msgrammar@theatlantic.com)
Date: Wednesday, May 19, 1999 09:14 AM

Ayse Pinar Saygin, of Ankara, Turkey, writes: "My native language is Turkish, but I have lived in the U.S. and am moving there in September. English is a very rich language, so it has always surprised me that it doesn't have a very important word that we have in Turkish: friend. Okay, we all know what this means. but how do you differentiate between a friend you like, talk to, do things with and a friend who is a soul mate, someone who you value more than your other 'friends'? See how difficult it is to explain? In Turkish I'd just say 'dost,' and everyone would know I meant the latter kind of friend.

"'Best friend' won't do (neither will 'soul mate' or 'confidant'). 'Best friend' has some feminine and childish connotations. I am not saying it is feminine and childish, but it *can* be interpreted that way. The kind of friendship I am talking about refers to a deep trust and mutual understanding. Also, it is totally independent of gender and age. Calling someone a 'dost' is a very strong statement, whereas referring to someone as a friend is a normal thing."

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Topic: 9) Better-than-best friend (2 of 4), Read 109 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Roger Gay (roger.f.gay@telia.se)
Date: Wednesday, May 19, 1999 10:16 AM

I'm not sure what people will make up about this one, but we commonly use adjectives like "good" and "close" for that. If you want to emphasize even more, "very good" or "very close".

"Close" is the more reliable term. "My good friend" is sometimes used with less sincerity, or may imply a "good friendship" with less personal depth, such as a shorter term friendship that is quite beneficial in some way.

If you want a new slang, we can take advantage of the Germanic roots of English -- bestis means chum or pal. (pronounced; best-uss with emphasis on best). From there, one can easily imagine "closest", as in "she's my closest", as being readily understood; especially if it is already understood that the subject of conversation is friendship.

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Topic: 9) Better-than-best friend (3 of 4), Read 72 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Rus Bowden (lowelldude@aol.com)
Date: Saturday, May 22, 1999 07:47 PM

My searching brought up the word "intimate", but I figured that was too close to "confidant", which is unacceptable.

Further searching brought up "belamy", which I liked because it looks to me like good friend in French.

This is what I found on "belamy":

In ARTFL Project: Webster Dictionary, 1913 at
http://machaut.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/WEBSTER.sh?WORD=belamy
Belamy (Page: 133)
Bel"a*my (?), n. [F. bel ami fair friend.] Good friend; dear friend. [Obs.] Chaucer.

In Webster's 1828 Dictionary at http://www.christiantech.com/cgi-bin/webster.exe?search_for_cgi-bin/texts/web1828=belamy
BEL'AMY, n. A good friend; an intimate. [Not used.]



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Topic: 9) Better-than-best friend (4 of 4), Read 31 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Rus Bowden (lowelldude@aol.com)
Date: Saturday, May 29, 1999 09:21 PM

After spending some time searching around for English words, mostly slang, used for "close friend" and "dear friend", I came up with the following collection. My personal favorite is "bobbasheely." Please note: Sometimes I will only reference the web site and not the specific page because of some of the vulgarities on those pages.

From a page called "Donated Slang" from
http://www.lsd.brown.edu
ace: close friend

From "Westernisms" at
http://home.bc.rogers.wave.ca/ironmtn/chinook/western.html
Blood
Native slang for someone else of native status or heritage, always used in a cordial sense and either as a form of address or in a question establishing someone's heritage or identity. Rarely used by non-natives to describe natives, except among those who work or socialize with natives - and never as a form of address (which would simply be incorrect rather than taken negatively). "Blood" does figure in non-native slang as a familiar form of address for relation or very close friend. Examples: "Hey, blood!", "What's up, blood?", "You're blood" (this last expressing confidence in the person or for an existing or developing personal bond).

From "DARE Newsletter,Vol. 1, No. 1, Dictionary of American Regional English, Fall 1998" at
http://polyglot.lss.wisc.edu/dare/newslettersept98.htm
bobbasheely. This is a word found in the Gulf States, both as a noun meaning "A very close friend" and a verb meaning "To saunter, sashay, move in a friendly fashion; to associate with socially."

From "The Dictionary of Phrase and Fable" at
http://www.bibliomania.com/Reference/PhraseAndFable/data/165.html
Bosom Friend (A ). A very dear friend. Nathan says, “It lay in his bosom, and was unto him as a daughter.” (2 Sam. xii. 3.) Bosom friend, amie du cćur St. John is represented in the New Testament as the “bosom friend” of Jesus.

From "Untitled Normal Page" at
http://www.m-w.com/whist/whisthm.htm
By the fourteenth century the d had begun to disappear in both pronunciation and spelling, and godsibb developed into gossib and then gossip, the form which is used today. The meaning, too, had begun to change, and the sense of gossip as a close friend or comrade developed alongside the sense of a godparent. Chaucer's Wife of Bath tells her fellow-pilgrims on the road to Canterbury of having once gone walking with a lover and "my gossib dame Alys." From there it was only a short step to the gossip of today, a person no longer necessarily friend, relative, or sponsor, but someone filled with irresistible tidbits of rumor.

From "Glossary of Eighties Terms" at
http://worcestermass.com/80s/glossary.html
Homeboy
(1)Noun. A close friend. ie. "I like to hang with my homeboys at the mall."

From "Multimedia Fair Stresses Interdisciplinary Benefits" at
http://www.news.harvard.edu/gazette/1998/05.28/MultimediaFairS.html
home skillet (n) "very close friend or partner" - He's my home skillet.

From a page called "College Slang from Around the World: A to H" in http://www.csupomona.edu
homeslice (noun) A close friend. [FLCC, Candaguia, NY; West Virginia University, Morgantown, VA]

From "City Wall" at
http://www.zigzagworld.com/hebrewforme/citywall.html
The name Rehuël
Rehuël, as the alternative name of Jethro, has two possible meanings, both derived from the same shoresh (word root) - raysh/ayin/hay. One concept is shepherd, protector, guardian. In Psalm 23, the first line is "Adonai ro'i" - the Lord is my shepherd. The second possible meaning is dear friend, valued companion. Both meanings applied to Jethro, who appreciated Moses' rescue of his daughters and his flocks at the Midianite well (see Exodus II, 15-21). Your name carries great honor, in Biblical terms as well as in your family's history.


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