less of the lad

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Senior Member
Nikki nodded. ‘Wait for our call. And thank you, Mickey. You’re a good lad.’ ‘Less of the lad if you don’t mind.’ He walked away, grinning.
Source: Thieves on the Fens by Joy Ellis
Context: Nikki is the local detective inspector. Mickey is friendly teenager.

What could Mickey mean with the expresssion less of the lad? Is he suggesting he does not like being called lad?

Thank you.
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    It’s perhaps more commonly used the other way round, however:

    You’re just a stupid old moron! — Less of the “old” if you don’t mind!

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