1

Saying that [someone] is golden means that person is in a desirable situation that will likely lead to some sort of success.

I am trying to find out the origin of this phrase. So far, I have found sites that suggest that:

Does anyone have a more definitive and reputable explanation for the origin of this expression?

  • It is not American. ool.co.uk/blog/the-untimely-death-of-rupert-brooke It is used a lot in the UK, especially with "golden boy of" this or that. Lots of areas. Among others you can see on the first google hit: golden boy of British fashion, atheletics, boxing, and on and on and on. Calling someone a golden boy of [something] is a cliché. – Lambie Jun 7 '18 at 15:44
3

I don't know, but could it be related to the older golden boy and golden girl, a successful man and woman, respectively? Quotes from the OED, 2nd edition:

1937 C. Odets (title) The *golden boy. Ibid. iii. i. 196 He walks down the street respected—the golden boy!

1964 ‘J. Welcome’ Hard to Handle viii. 91 Poor dear Richard.+ What a change from being the golden boy of English racing.

1965 P. Moyes Johnny under Ground xx. 250 That would have been the end of Beau Guest, the young chevalier, the golden boy.

1971 Sunday Times (Johannesburg) 28 Mar. 24/1 Ever since he assumed the ‘golden boy’ mantle, Richards has studiously avoided local opposition.

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