One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1‘she went to stay with her friend in the next town’
companion, boon companion, bosom friend, best friend, close friend, intimate, confidante, confidant, familiar, soul mate, alter ego, second self, shadow, playmate, playfellow, classmate, schoolmate, workmate, ally, comrade, associate
informal pal, bosom pal, buddy, bosom buddy, chum, spar, sidekick, cully, crony, main man
British informal bezzie, mate, oppo, china, mucker, butty, bruvver, bruv
Northern English informal marrow, marrer, marra
North American informal amigo, compadre, paisan, homie, bro
North American South African informal homeboy, homegirl
South African informal gabba
NZ Australian informal offsider
rare fidus Achates
2‘a meeting of the friends of the Royal Botanic Garden’
patron, backer, supporter, benefactor, benefactress, sponsor
well-wisher, defender, champion
rare benefactrice, benefactrix, Maecenas
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