- little son (often used as a familiar term of address to a boy).
- (used as a term of direct address to express contempt, derision, etc.): No, sonny, you can't park there!
Origin of sonny
- a male given name.
- Theodore WalterSonny, born 1930, U.S. jazz saxophonist and composer.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for sonny
We thought that Sonny was inspiring us and he was out there and responding and sweating and playing his tail off.Herbie Hancock Holds Forth
November 8, 2014
When Cosby looked up, he saw that Sonny Stitt, the famed alto sax player, had joined the bandstand.Why Comedians Still Think Bill Cosby Is a Genius
October 5, 2014
The answer to that musical question could well be, “For about 70 years before you were born, sonny!”Is Nick Ziobro the Next Frank Sinatra?
July 19, 2014
Pacino—Dad called him “Al”—played Sonny, a desperate guy who robbed a bank in Brooklyn.
The movie was about what happened in the inside of the bank with Sonny and the hostages.
You'd better not let him hear you say anything like that, sonny!The Dare Boys of 1776
Stephen Angus Cox
I say, sonny; yer hain't seen nothin' of a keow, have yer, here or hereabouts?The Universal Reciter
The lady is right, sonny, you'd better watch those impulses.We're Friends, Now
Sonny did not need to reason about it; his heart understood all that was necessary.The House in the Water
Charles G. D. Roberts
They called one another "old man" and "sonny" in cheery voices.The Nigger Of The "Narcissus"
- a familiar or patronizing term of address to a boy or man
C19: from son + -y ²
- Sonny, original name Theodore Walter Rollins . born 1930, US jazz tenor saxophonist, noted for his improvisation
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
Word Origin and History for sonny
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper