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