Green’s Dictionary of Slang

people n.

1. [mid-19C–1930s] one’s relatives, one’s family; usu. qualified as my people, her people etc.

2. [late 19C+] (US) one’s group, e.g. fellow players in a company of actors.

3. [late 19C+] (orig. US) an admirable person, a trustworthy individual; equally applicable, in context, to criminals as to the law-abiding.

4. [late 19C+] a type of person.

5. (US black/drugs) in drug uses.

(a) [1950s–60s] narcotics agents; police.

(b) [1960s+] as the people, high-level drug dealers.

In phrases

good people (n.)

1. [late 19C+] (also fine people, nice...) an admirable individual; a member of one’s peer group; less common is the antithetical bad people.

2. [1920s+] (US Und.) a leading criminal, irrespective of speciality.

my people (n.) [1950s+]

1. (US) one’s close friends.

2. (US black) one’s fellow gang members.

3. any fellow members of a group or minority, usu. used ironically.

4. see sense 1 sense 1.

real people (n.)

[1910s–70s] (US ) one’s peers; trustworthy people; equally applicable to criminals as to the law-abiding; also as adj.

SE in slang uses

In exclamations

some people!

[20C+] a derisory or critical comment by the speaker on the opinions or more likely the activities of others; the details are unspoken but will be a condemnation of what some people are doing.