a local boy made good

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VicNicSor

Banned
Russian
make good
to become successful
He’s a local boy made good.
Macmillan Dictionary

make good
4. Succeed, as in He made good as a writer.
AHD

In the latter, 'make good' acts as an intransitive verb, but in the former, as a transitive passive verb — as if someone made the boy good. Am I right?
Thank you.
 
  • Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    No. It simply means the boy is successful. We would assume it is through his own actions. He wasn't made good. He made good.
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    No. It simply means the boy is successful. We would assume it is through his own actions. He wasn't made good. He made good.
    But, if "made good" in "He’s a local boy made good." is not a participial phrase, then what is it?

    "He's a local boy achieved success." — that wouldn't sound correct, would it?
     

    MarcB

    Senior Member
    US English
    I agree with Myridon. I associate this phrase with the southern part of the US. That said, I have heard it often in both the North and the South.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I see your point, but this is idiomatic and you can't play about with it. You can read the Macmillan example two ways:

    Local boy [who] made good — the "who" being omitted but understood

    Local boy made good — "made good" (from the verb phrase "make good") being used adjectivally

    The latter is rather like the term artist/poet/novelist manqué. It only works in that form.
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    Thank you everyone.
    Local boy [who] made good — the "who" being omitted but understood

    Local boy made good — "made good" (from the verb phrase "make good") being used adjectivally
    But which way is implied in the OP? It should be either one or the other. According to the answers in the thread, it should be "who" that was omitted, right?
     

    Swedish Anna

    Member
    Swedish, Sweden
    This phrase has a newspaper headline ring to it. I've only seen it in the present tense: Local boy makes good, which by the way is the title of a hilarious movie from 1931 starring Joe E. Brown!:)
     

    RM1(SS)

    Senior Member
    English - US (Midwest)
    make good
    to become successful
    He’s a local boy made good.
    Macmillan Dictionary

    make good
    4. Succeed, as in He made good as a writer.
    AHD

    In the latter, 'make good' acts as an intransitive verb, but in the former, as a transitive passive verb — as if someone made the boy good. Am I right?
    Thank you.
    No. It's the same as the second sentence.

    Make good = become successful
    Made good = became successful
     

    kadioguy

    Member
    Chinese
    Local boy [who] made good — the "who" being omitted but understood

    Local boy made good — "made good" (from the verb phrase "make good") being used adjectivally
    But which way is implied in the OP? It should be either one or the other. According to the answers in the thread, it should be "who" that was omitted, right?
    For me, both work.

    Local boy made good — "made good" (from the verb phrase "make good", and in the past tense, rather than a past participle) being used adjectivally
     

    kadioguy

    Member
    Chinese
    Is it like "a dream come true"?
    I would think it is a little different from "... local boy made good".

    I take this phrase to mean "a dream [that has] come true", i.e. "come true" is a verb phrase of the past participle, whereas "made good" is in the past tense.
     
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