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Do good vs Do well

Posted by James Briggs on March 10, 2005

In the UK we often believe that praise in the US can be described as 'he done good'. Whether this is true or not, some football managers mimic this and describe a player who's had a fine game by saying 'the boy's done good'. However, the great majority of UK English speakers would say 'the boy's done well', since there is a fundamental difference between the two expressions. 'Do well' is to excell at a task. 'Do good' is to perform some worthwhile action, such as a charitable act.
So, is our UK perception of US 'good' correct? If so, how is the charitable meaning of 'good' expressed?