Origin of attaboy
Words nearby attaboy
What does attaboy mean?
Attaboy is an informal expression of enthusiastic praise or encouragement addressed to boys, men, and male animals (such as one’s dog).
Attaboy is an interjection, meaning it’s a term used to express emotion, often outside of a sentence.
The term attagirl can be used in the same way to address girls, women, and female animals.
Such terms are generally used as a way to cheer someone on, similar to saying “Great job!” or “Way to go!” For example, coaches or parents might say it to a child playing a sport after they’ve done something particularly good.
Attaboy is sometimes used as a noun referring to a statement of praise, as in The boss doesn’t usually give out attaboys like that, so he must be pretty impressed.
Example: Attaboy, Ben! Great catch!
Where does attaboy come from?
The first records of attaboy come from the early 1900s. It was first and is primarily used in the U.S. It’s thought to be a shortened form of that’s a boy or that’s the boy, but it’s origin isn’t certain.
A similar phrase is That’s my boy! Obviously, this is said by parents, typically as a form of expressing pride in their son and something he has accomplished. Attaboy can imply this pride, but it’s primarily a way of cheering someone on, and that person doesn’t have to be the speaker’s son. Although the word boy appears inside the word, it can also refer to men—or even animals, especially dogs, as in Sit, Fido. Attaboy!
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What are some other forms related to attaboy?
- attaboys (plural noun)
What are some synonyms for attaboy?
- great job
- good job
- way to go
- well done
What are some words that share a root or word element with attaboy?
What are some words that often get used in discussing attaboy?
How is attaboy used in real life?
Attaboy is always used informally. It’s perhaps most commonly used by parents to cheer on their sons during sports.
My ferociously brilliant son achieved 100% on his grade nine EQAO. I’m humbled to the marrow of me. Attaboy, son. Attaboy.
— Matt Flynn (@Flynntopia) January 24, 2018
Ronaldo goal and assist. Attaboy
— Arinze (@Ariinzze) June 26, 2020
Oh they don't slobber all over you with grand praise, but they don't lie just to boost your feelings either. The only time you get an attaboy/attagirl is if you've genuinely done well. And that matters. A lot.
— 🏴☠️Liam Bean #VetsRESIST #BidenHarris2020🏴☠️ (@LiamMcBaen) August 29, 2020
Try using attaboy!
Is attaboy used correctly in the following sentence?
Attaboy, Timmy—now you’re getting the hang of it!
How to use attaboy in a sentence
He was censured by his colleagues in the House but given an “Attaboy, Charlie!”
In the ominous silence a cracked voice yelped: "Attaboy Fenton!"Vulcan's Workshop|Harl Vincent
He did go and support the team, and enhance the glory of Zenith, by yelling "Attaboy!"Babbitt|Sinclair Lewis
It will be observed that Mr. Burke has given his attaboy a "t" too many.Pieces of Hate|Heywood Broun