Etymology
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homeboy (n.)

"person from one's hometown," 1940s, African-American vernacular, also originally with overtones of "simpleton." With many variants (compare homebuddy, homeslice, both 1980s, with meaning shading toward "good friend"). The word had been used by Ruskin (1886) with the sense "stay-at-home male," and it was Canadian slang for "boy brought up in an orphanage or other institution" (1913).

updated on October 13, 2015

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Definitions of homeboy from WordNet

homeboy (n.)
a fellow male member of a youth gang;
homeboy (n.)
a male friend from your neighborhood or hometown;
From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.