Diamond geezer. London slang. Cockney accent usually, I suppose - 'diamond geezer!' 'Geezer!' It's dialect pronunciation in London for a 'guiser' - that's G-U-I-S-E-R - in other words, somebody who puts on a guise, a kind of mummer, if you like, a kind of travelling player. So that's where the word comes from.
But the modern usage in London and further afield - a geezer is, well, it means 'he's one of us'. An older person tends to be a geezer. You wouldn't usually call a child or a young man a geezer. It tends to be an older person. A geezer is your mate. It's somebody reliable, solid, a trustworthy person. And 'diamond' in front of it is, well, diamonds of course are wonderful things, they're special things, they're valuable things, so a diamond something, is a very special something. So, a diamond geezer is a reliable person who's really a very special person. So you add all that up, and you get an equivalent in 'he's a good sort', 'he's an OK chap', 'he's a great bloke', 'he's a good feller', 'he's a hero' - these are the glosses for diamond geezer.
But because it appeared in a 2005 film staring David Jason, 'Diamond Geezer', there is a touch of the eccentric and the maverick about it. Here, we're talking about a thief who's charming and cheeky and everybody loves him really, he's got a heart of gold, he's a good sort, he's not really a bad guy - he's a diamond geezer.
Transcript (pdf - 32 K)
Lesson plan - Teacher's notes, student worksheets with answers (pdf - 74 K)
Audio - Professor David Crystal on "Diamond geezer" (mp3 - 580 K)
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