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[at-uh-boi] /ˈæt əˌbɔɪ/
interjection, Informal.
(used as an enthusiastic expression of encouragement or approval to a boy, man, or male animal.)
Origin of attaboy
1905-10, Americanism; alleged to be a reduced form of that's a boy or that's the boy Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for attaboy
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In the ominous silence a cracked voice yelped: "attaboy Fenton!"

    Vulcan's Workshop Harl Vincent
  • It will be observed that Mr. Burke has given his attaboy a "t" too many.

    Pieces of Hate Heywood Broun
  • He did go and support the team, and enhance the glory of Zenith, by yelling "attaboy!"

    Babbitt Sinclair Lewis
British Dictionary definitions for attaboy


sentence substitute
(slang, mainly US) an expression of approval or exhortation
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for attaboy

1909, probably from common pronunciation of "that's the boy!" a cheer of encouragement or approval.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for attaboy



An exclamation of approval or encouragement; way to go

[fr that's the boy]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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