When I was a ridiculously skinny, cocksure undergrad, that was how I addressed everyone.
“Hey, whassup, kid?”
It didn’t matter if the person I was addressing was a fellow student, dorm tutor, or professor.
I bring this up in light of Scot Lehigh’s column this morning commenting on both Mayor Menino’s and Mike Flaherty’s reference to Sam Yoon as kid in last night’s mayoral debate on WCVB.
Like tonic or bubbler, “kid” is a Bostonism, particularly “good kid” or “great kid”.
I have kids I grew up with, who are now, like me, unfortunately approaching 40, with kids of their own, and if you were to ask me what they were like, I’d still respond with something like, “Macca? Macca’s a great kid.”
It is to those who grew up in Old Boston what the phrase Good Fellas was to Henry Hill and Jimmy Conway.
In an odd, colloquial way, it’s a designation of respect. It means you’re part of the club.
Like old habits, some vestiges of Old Boston die hard.