Also found in: Dictionary.
Someone who is given preferential treatment. The phrase does not have to describe a young male, despite using the word "boy." My oldest brother is definitely the fair-haired boy in our family—he can do no wrong as far as our parents are concerned.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
Fig. a favored person. (Not necessarily young or a boy.) The teacher's fair-haired boy always does well on tests. The supervisor's son was the fair-haired boy on the construction site.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
A favorite, a person who is given special treatment. For example, Today the attorney general is the governor's fair-haired boy. This term alludes to the preference of blond ("fair") hair over dark hair. [Late 1800s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
n. a promising young man; a young man who receives favoritism. Ted is the boss’s fair-haired boy now, but he’ll be just like the rest of us in a month.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
The current favorite, the individual singled out for special treatment. This male counterpart of “gentlemen prefer blondes” comes from the late nineteenth century. “The old crowd of Fair-haired Correspondent Boys who hung to the ear of President Roosevelt” appeared in the Saturday Evening Post in 1909.
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer