Posted by TheFallen on April 10, 2002
In Reply to: Attaboy posted by ESC on April 10, 2002
: : What does Attaboy mean and when to use it?
: In the world of work, it means, "Good job!" Or, "Way to go!" The state police, one of the agencies where I worked, gave out "Attaboy Awards." Now, with the addition of a few women troopers, they probably have Attagirl Awards."
: ATTABOY -- Military and police. "a commendation. 1975 Wambaugh 'Choirboys,' 288 'There's a lot of vice sergeants in this town that'd...write you an attaboy.'..." From "Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang, Volume 1, A-G" by J.E. Lighter, Random House, New York, 1994.
: I don't know what it stands for. That's my boy? Does anyone know?
The American Heritage Dictionary maintains that attaboy does indeed derive directly from "that's the boy!", which I presume was a once popular shout of encouragement or approval.