Oxford Dictionary entry for cronyAccording to this source the word 'crony' is Cambridge university slang; Maybe is too geeky to call someone this way instead of a guy, fellow?

synonym: guy, fellow, bro etc.

My question:

Can I use this word instead of the words as 'GUY', 'FELLOW', 'PAL' etc?

  • 3
    That's not what the source says. – user3395 Mar 25 '17 at 15:13
  • Special for you @userr2684291 I inserted the picture. Please read the origin section. Thank you for your attention – Max Mar 25 '17 at 15:35
  • 2
    @Max - (originally Cambridge university slang) merely gives some background. Nowhere does this source say that it is currently slang - so one would correctly infer that it is not slang today. – Davo Mar 25 '17 at 16:05
  • 2
    There does not appear to be a clear question here. You should make clear the context in which you want to use "crony", and explain why the usage advice "Derogatory/informal" doesn't answer your question. The source indicates that it was university slang in the 17th century. It is now used informally. – James K Mar 25 '17 at 16:17
  • 2
    Max, don’t put your question in the title of the question. People may not see it there. (Plus, it makes your title too long.) Also, @JamesK is right – when trying to figure out whether or not a word is okay to use, look at the usage cues in blue italics, not the etymological information in the origin. – J.R. Mar 25 '17 at 23:09

Crony has changed its meaning over time: now its meaning is pretty sinister on both sides of the herring pond. I would advise against using it about a personal friend of yours.

The Cambridge Dictionary has this to say about it:

a friend, or a person who works for someone in authority, especially one who is willing to give and receive dishonest help

Meanwhile, if you look at Merriam-Webster, the definition seems quite innocuous:

a close friend especially of long standing

but look at the examples:

The mayor rewarded his cronies with high-paying jobs after he was elected.

the criminal's cronies were also closely questioned about the illegal gambling operation

  • I've just asked the same question on another source; The same answer I've got (from California) – Max Mar 25 '17 at 17:38
  • 2
    The only way I have read this recently is as Crony capitalism. The meaning would be similar to your first example. – user3169 Mar 26 '17 at 0:03

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.