Posted by Masakim on April 10, 2002
In Reply to: Attaboy posted by TheFallen 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.
attaboy! exclam. = That's
the boy! An expression of approval for deserving behavior or a successful performance.
Also "attagirl!" Since c1910.
that's the (my) boy Fig., an expression of encouragement or pride. As of a father pointing with pride and saying, "That's my boy who did that."
From _Dictionary of American Slang_ by H. Wentworth & S.T. Flexner.
attaboy!/attagirl!/attababy! excl. [20C] (orig. US) a general excl. of admiration and encouragement. [? phr. 'that's the boy' etc or 'at her, boy' (E[ric]P[artridge]), where 'her' is neuter. Note US milit./police jargon _attaboy_, a commendation]