By itself, homeboy can simply mean a black person, especially one who dresses, talks, or acts ghetto. (But you need not be born black to be a homeboy.)

When you call someone your homeboy, you're saying a lot more. Your homeboys are your clique, your crew, the people who are down with you. Your homeboy is someone you love.

Homey (homie) is a related term, but sometimes implies a more casual relationship.

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