Green’s Dictionary of Slang

daddy-o n.

also daddio, dadio
[the jazz-based black use transferred, as did many such terms, to white beatniks in the 1950s and thence hippie n.2 (3) use; modern use is usu. ironic; note Décharné, Straight from the Fridge Dad (2000): ‘New Orleans DJ Vernon Winslow was broadcasting under the name Doctor Daddy-O in the late 1940s [...] Rock ’n’ roll DJ Porky Chadwick of WAMO, Pittsburgh called himself “the Daddy-o of the radio, a porkulatin’ platter-pushin’ Poppa”’]

1. (orig. US black, also dad-o) a term of address between males; note rare female term mammy-o in cit. 1969.

[US] Cab Calloway & His Orchestra ‘Two Blocks Down, Turn to the Left’ [lyrics] Say, Daddy-O, do you know where a cat can have a ball and put on a fine feedbag?
[US]L. Hughes Tambourines to Glory Prologue: I speak all tongues [...] baby, daddy-o.
[US]W. Burroughs letter 22 Apr. in Harris (1993) 121: Get with those technicolor peyote kicks Daddy O.
[US]Laurents & Sondheim West Side Story I vi: Take it slow and, Daddy-o, / You can live it up and die in bed!
[US]H.S. Thompson letter 10 Sept. in Proud Highway (1997) 186: Daddio! You mean the bronze plaque paragraph bugged you?
[US]H.S. Thompson letter 19 Aug. in Proud Highway (1997) 463: Dear Daddio.
[US]C. Himes Rage in Harlem (1969) 22: A good feeling is a sign of death, Daddy-o.
[UK]N. Cohn Awopbop. (1970) 90: That’s nice, baby, ooh mammy-o, lay it down, sock it to me.
[US]T. Southern Blue Movie (1974) 210: I can’t tell ’em nothing, daddy-O.
[UK]M. Thelwell Harder They Come 315: Ida? Nope, Dadio. Sure don’t.
[US]J. Ellroy Brown’s Requiem 29: Crazy, Daddy-O!
[US]H. Harrison Bill [...] on the Planet of Robot Slaves (1991) 223: And PS, Daddy-o, you will notice that the pistol is pointed at you.
[US]P. Beatty White Boy Shuffle 66: ‘Hey, man, what you listening to?’ [...] ‘Jazz, daddio, jazz’.
[UK]Guardian Guide 31 July–6 Aug. 18: Rent that [...] right this minute, Daddy-O!
[UK]Guardian Guide 11–17 Sept. 6: Cool, daddio.
[US](con. 1964–8) J. Ellroy Cold Six Thousand 91: Say what, big man? Say what, daddy-o?
[UK]Guardian 23 Aug. 34/4: ‘Pipe down, daddio!’.

2. (orig. US) a boyfriend, male lover, husband.

[US]D. Burley Orig. Hbk of Harlem Jive 103: I’m you’re daddy-O, you’re my baby-O, and Queen Bee, that’s what she wrote.
[US]L. Durst Jives of Dr. Hepcat (1989) 9: When I pin you daddio the wagon in here, and you lodes my heart on. You don’t pack no six gun, but you are a bad bad boy, and for you my lid always flip.
[US]N. Algren Walk on the Wild Side 202: They always come back to their Daddy-O. It’s what they call me, their Daddy-O.
[US] in S. Harris Hellhole 189: Some white daddy-o offers to lay a lot of money and expensive presents on me.
[US]Maledicta III:2 222: The old may get done as a charity case or serve as some youth’s sugar daddy (or otherwise pay for it, which some prefer to do because of the freedom involved but most consider degrading or desperate), but daddy-o is sad to be past it.
[US]S. Morgan Homeboy 49: He was just another of her supply of deadbeat daddyos.
[UK]Guardian Rev. 13 Aug. 23: Conceived in the tradition of beatnik culture (see also goatees, long-haul car journeys, baggy jumpers and daddios).
[US]G. Pelecanos Shame the Devil 148: ‘The Black Cat’s got a good bill.’ ‘You comped?’ ‘You got it, Daddy-O.’.

3. (US Und.) a pimp.

[US]Murtagh & Harris Cast the First Stone 19: Some hostile cop [...] tries to make them inform on their pimps. But the girls won’r rat on their daddy-o’s.
[US] in T.I. Rubin Sweet Daddy Preface: Philly [...] is a ‘sweet daddy’, a daddy-o, a modern-day pimp.

4. (US black) a thing, an object.

R. Gover $100 Misunderstanding 183: I git me so godam fuss up bout that daddio [i.e. a word] I bout flip.

5. (US black) the exemplar.

W. Balliett Dinosaurs in the Morning 17: Black introduced Rexroth as a horse wrangler and the Daddy-O of the jazz-poetry movement.

6. a macho, ‘butch’ male homosexual.

[US]B. Rodgers Queens’ Vernacular 59: daddy-o [...] 2. butch, often sarcastically applied.

7. any male.

[US]J. Ellroy ‘Jungletown Jihad’ in Destination: Morgue! (2004) 328: Daddy-o deadpanned us.