bosom friend

Also found in: Dictionary.

bosom friend

1. One's close or closest friend; a friend one holds dear to one's heart. We grew up right next door to each other, so we have been bosom friends since we were kids.
2. slang Lice. Ugh, I'm so itchy—I really hope my bosom friends aren't back.
See also: bosom, friend
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

bosom friends

See also: bosom, friend
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

bosom buddy/friend

An intimate friend. This turn of phrase for denoting a very dear associate is found in both the Old and New Testaments. Nathan says it “lay in his bosom and was unto him as a daughter” (2 Samuel 12:3), and in the Gospel of St. John, John, often called the “beloved disciple,” is described as the bosom friend of Jesus. In his “Ode to Autumn” John Keats wrote, “Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, close bosom-friend of the maturing sun.” By this time “bosom friend” was also a euphemism for body lice, and Jonathan Swift’s Polite Conversation (1738) includes the pun, “I’m afraid your Bosom Friends are become your Backbiters.” The alliterative bosom buddy is of later provenance; the word “buddy,” for comrade or chum, dates from the mid-nineteenth century and originated in America. See also boon companion.
See also: bosom, buddy, friend
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
See also:
References in classic literature ?
It's bad enough to have red hair myself, but I positively couldn't endure it in a bosom friend."
"I was merely going to say I should be glad to have you for my bosom friend, for Hatty Mason and I have had an awful quarrel, and don't speak.
For a while, the place is vacant; Miss Plym seizes the opportunity of consulting the ladies' bosom friend.
You do care for your bosom friend's good name, and you do care for her peace of mind.
"You see," observed Elliston, pointing to the book of serpents, while a smile gleamed upon his lips, "I am making an effort to become better acquainted with my bosom friend; but I find nothing satisfactory in this volume.
He became ten times a greater favorite than ever, and, as a natural result of the hospitality with which he was treated, he relaxed, as it were, perforce, the extremely parsimonious habits which his poverty had hitherto impelled him to observe, and very frequently had little reunions at his own house, when wit and jollity reigned supreme-dampened a little, of course, by the occasional remembrance of the untoward and melancholy fate which impended over the nephew of the late lamented bosom friend of the generous host.
Tom had likewise been propitiated, by being allowed to bring his three bosom friends, who went by the school-boy names of Rumple, Sherry, and Spider.
I acted in the capacity of backer, or best-man, to the bridegroom; while a little limp pew opener in a soft bonnet like a baby's, made a feint of being the bosom friend of Miss Skiffins.
Minerva took the form of the famous sea captain Dymas's daughter, who was a bosom friend of Nausicaa and just her own age; then, coming up to the girl's bedside like a breath of wind, she hovered over her head and said:
"Are you sure you would have believed me if I had complained, and if your bosom friend had denied all intention of insulting me?
He seemed to take to me quite as naturally and unbiddenly as I to him; and when our smoke was over, he pressed his forehead against mine, clasped me round the waist, and said that henceforth we were married; meaning, in his country's phrase, that we were bosom friends; he would gladly die for me, if need should be.
They ceased to be master and servant, in order to become bosom friends.
It may seem remarkable, that, of four persons whom we have commemorated at Mr Allworthy's house, three of them should fix their inclinations on a lady who was never greatly celebrated for her beauty, and who was, moreover, now a little descended into the vale of years; but in reality bosom friends, and intimate acquaintance, have a kind of natural propensity to particular females at the house of a friend--viz., to his grandmother, mother, sister, daughter, aunt, niece, or cousin, when they are rich; and to his wife, sister, daughter, niece, cousin, mistress, or servant-maid, if they should be handsome.
Then the warriors rested a space and patted their stomachs, and smiled across at each other like bosom friends; for a man when he as dined looks out pleasantly upon the world.
She had twelve intimate and bosom friends out of the twenty-four young ladies.