1. a general form of address to an unnamed male or self-reflexively; cit. 1942 refers to a white man talking to the statue of a black boy.
|New Dict. Cant (1795) n.p.: brother. a term used among thieves acknowledging each other.|
|Bird o’ Freedom 22 Jan. 3: Hold on a minute, brother [...] you find fault with that parable, do you?|
|DN III:ii 128: brother, n. A term of supposed affection much used by the unco’ good to and of acquaintances and to strangers. ‘We would be glad to see Brother Phillips and Brother Nation come to some understanding between themselves, without having another election.’.‘Words from Northwest Arkansas’ in|
|DN III:viii 572: brother, n. A title applied to a stranger in addressing him. ‘Say, brother, can you tell me how far it is to Veedersburg?’.‘Word-List From Western Indiana’ in|
|in Durham Morn. Herald (NC) 3 July 10/1: Willard is ready, brother. Still wearing both of those legs that have caused so much parlaay-voo.|
|Story Omnibus (1966) 323: Honest, brother, I haven’t killed a millionaire in weeks.‘$106,000 Blood Money’|
|Night and the City 51: All the same, brother, you know what dirty minds some people have.|
|High Window 21: [I] patted the little Negro on the head again. ‘Brother, it’s even worse than I expected,’ I told him.|
|Man with the Golden Arm 103: They’re good for writin’ in blackouts, brother.|
|On the Waterfront (1964) 215: Oh brother, what a pushover he’ll be, Terry was thinking.|
|America’s Homosexual Underground 77: Brother, have I got a story for you?|
|in Living Black 233: Brother, gee I like to be like you.|
|Vinnie Got Blown Away 150: How long it all takes brother?|
|Layer Cake 113: Fuckin cool it, brother, you gotta chill.|
|Running the Books 6: Inmates exchange intrixcate handshakes and formal titles: OG, young G, boo, bro, baby boy, brutha, dude, cuz, dawg, P, G, daddy, pimpin’, nigga, man, thug thizzle, my boy, my man, homie.|
2. a black male.
|N.Y. Eve. Journal 13 Feb. 14: Those meerschaum-colored brothers in the South.in|
|Negro in Chicago (Chicago Comm. Race Relations) 563: The poor proprietor of the place, if he or she is one of the ‘brothers’ or ‘sisters’, is almost helpless in the matter.|
|Pittsburgh Courier (PA) 14 Nov. 20/1: Monte Hawley [...] is working in several white quickies as a pale brother.|
|Jive and Sl. 2: Brother in Black [...] Negro.|
|Crazy Kill 14: Doing a skit about a colored brother coming home drunk.|
|Manchild in the Promised Land (1969) 256: It seemed to be the ordinary animosity that a cat would have for a brother who was strung out.|
|Inner City Hoodlum 63: Here was a brown-skinned brother, caught in the web of the law.|
|Bonfire of the Vanities 287: Martin said ‘One a da brothers,’ giving an Irish rendition of a black accent.|
|Hip-Hop Connection Dec. 20: It’s just a situation where a brother chooses one way for his life.|
|Fortress of Solitude 429: A stoney-eyed brother in net muscle-shirt and doo-rag.|
|Dirty South 2: Every second brother seems to be packed with a gun.|
|Life 157: I was feeling so ragged [...] and these brothers were so together.|
|IOL News Western Cape) 10 May [Internet] Can only black guys be brothers?|
|Rough Riders 11: You’re out of your element here [...] Brothers don’t like the cold much, do you?|
3. a form of address to a fellow black male.
|Congaree Sketches 15: Brother, you know hell is a bad place when dey got generations of ole sisters pen up together.|
|‘Louisiana Liza’ [lyrics] This Southern maid, I’m afraid, is sure to make you fall, / She knows her stuff, calls your bluff, and brother, that ain’t all!|
|Small Time Crooks 7: Move on brother. Here’s the cop.|
|Pimp 86: Brother, you are as lucky as a shit-house rat.|
|‘Pimp in a Clothing Store’ in Milner & Milner (1972) 288: Young blood, where you at, man?’ [...] ‘Oh here I am, brother, I’m right here, right here, right under you, brother, right under you, I’m on my job.’.|
|Harder They Come 142: ‘Hol ’awn, breddah,’ Jose warned.|
|Acid House 37: Hey brother, you hang around with this trash, you get what comes around to you.‘Stoke Newington Blues’ in|
|Guardian Guide 1–6 Jan. 18: Peace brother.|
4. (orig. US black) in pl., constr. with the, black people, orig. in 1960s black radical use, now used by both black and white speakers with only residual political overtones.
|(con. 1960s) Black Gangster (1991) 64: Let your natural get that look that Whitey thinks all militant brothers wear.|
|Runnin’ Down Some Lines xvii: The brothers up dere [...] they okay.|
|London Fields 172: He couldn’t see her enjoying a long second wind, a year, six months, poncing vodkas off the brothers.|
|Inside 134: Back in the realm of peeer pressure, ‘whitey’ was unable to mix with the brothers.|
5. in pl., constr with the, one’s intimates, one’s close friends.
|All Night Stand 48: As far as the brothers are concerned there is not much worse than letting a woman get the upper hand.|
6. a non-black male accepted in the black community.
|Black Jargon in White America 59: brother n. […] 2. any male accepted by black people: What’s happening, brother?|
|Double Bang 187: A chunky brother [...] was coming through the archway. Looked like a Cubano.|
(US black) a fellow black man, usu. as a form of address.
|‘Theme from Shaft’ [lyrics] Who’s the man who would risk his neck for his brother-man?|
|Jones Men 165: How you doing, brother man?|
|House of Slammers 5: There’s somethin’ you can do, brother-man….|
|‘Feds in Town’ [lyrics] Goin all out of tact on the local bird slaggin brothaman.|
|Pimp’s Rap 110: Brother man, you can move a lot of weed every Sunday.|
|Tuff 87: You hear this nigger, brother man. How much you think them rims is worth?|
(US black) a form of address from one black man to another; a black man; thus sister in black, n., a black woman.
|Mules and Men (1995) 76: Dat’s de reason de sister in black works harder than anybody else in the de world. De white man tells de nigger to work and he takes and tells his wife. [Ibid.] 120: But you know how it is wid de brother in black. He got a big mouf and a stambling tongue.|
|Jive and Sl. n.p.: Brother in Black ... Negro.|
SE in slang uses
see brother of the bung under brother (of the)... n.
1. a carpenter.
|Northampton Mercury 24 July 47/4: A Journeyman Ship-Carver, for the Sake of the Bounty informed [...] against a brother Journeyman of the same Trade [...] The Man [...] went to the Lieutenant, who told him that he had been informed against by a young fellow who was a Brother Chip.|
|F&H].Poems of Rural Life, Familiar Epistle 3: And, brother chip, I love ye dearly, poor as ye be! [|
|Young Tom Hall (1926) 278: Mr Dweller [...] having ferreted out Guinea’s early career, had the impudence to talk of him [...] as a brother chip — ‘one of us’.|
|Bell’s Life in Sydney 2 July 2/7: A ‘brother chip’ had introduced Mr Walter Prichard to him.|
|,||Dict. of Modern Sl. etc.|
|, ,||Sl. Dict.|
|Dict. of Sl., Jargon and Cant.|
|Sl. and Its Analogues.|
2. a fellow professional of any sort.
|Wkly Vistor 1 200: [He] was lately introduced by a brother chip.|
|Lex. Balatronicum n.p.: Chip. A brother chip; a person of the same trade or calling.|
|Dict. of the Turf, the Ring, the Chase, etc.|
|N.-Y. Eve. Post 25 Sept. 2/2: An industrious mechanic [...] was robbed [...], but by whom, no one could tell. Suspicion, however, was lately fixed upon a brother chip.|
|N.-Y. National Advocate 3 Aug. 2/4: The Editor whereof is a brother chip of mine, having been brought up to the profession of a Baker [...] I do hereby request [him] to meet me any time he may think proper, at Mr. John Notter’s bake oven, armed with his own peel or swob, or any other instrument belonging to our trade… .|
|Eve. Star (N.Y.) 6 Dec. 2/3: Is there any Editor in this city who is well off, and has no little-uns of his own, and who would help a brother chip by taking two or three of the little batch off his hands?|
|Dict. Americanisms 49: brother chip. A fellow-carpenter; in a more general sense, a person of the same trade.|
|Broadway Belle (N.Y.) 15 Oct. 4/3: A compositor employed on the Broadway Belle [...] meeting a brother chip in Broadway.|
|Penny Newsman n.p.: ‘Mr. Bernal Osborne on Pigs and Politics’ [...] I could have wished, gentlemen, that there had been a larger show to-day. At the same time as a brother chip (a laugh) – Oh, gentlemen, I am a farmer (hear) [...] [F&H].|
|, ,||Sl. Dict.|
|Dict. of Sl., Jargon and Cant.|
|Sl. and Its Analogues.|
see hod n.1
|Lex. Balatronicum n.p.: Brother round mouth, speaks; he has let a fart.|
one who shares a friend’s mistress.
|Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Brother-starling that Lies with the same Woman, or Builds in the same Nest.|
|Letters from the Dead to the Living in Amusements Serious and Comical in Works (1927) 232: The greatest monarch of the universe and I are brother-starlings, [...] the eldest son of the church, and the little Scarron have fished in the same hole. [Ibid.] 378: I hear you kept the poor titmouse under such slavish subjection that a peer of the realm could not so much as come in to be brother-sterling [sic] with you.|
|New Canting Dict.|
|, , ,||Universal Etym. Eng. Dict.|
|, ,||Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue n.p.: Brother starling, one who lies with the same woman, that is, builds in the same nest.|
|New Dict. Cant (1795) n.p.: Brother starling or socket one that lays with another man’s wife or whore.|
|Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.|
see separate entry.