National Best Mate Day

Two friends laughing together in a park, wearing matching t-shirts, summer picnic scene with colorful balloons and ice cream cones..
National best mate day illustration

Ah, National Best Mate Day, a time to celebrate that one special person who's always got your back, your front, and your sides. Your best mate is like a human safety net, catching you whenever life throws you a curveball. So, join us as we dive into the marvelous world of best mates and the internet history of this delightful day!

When is Best Mate Day?

It's national best mate day on the 8th June.

The Internet History of National Best Mate Day

Believe it or not, National Best Mate Day has quite a fascinating internet history. It all began on June 8th, 2016, when social media exploded with declarations of friendship and hilarious best mate stories. People from all walks of life took to their keyboards to share the love for their closest pals.

Since then, National Best Mate Day has become an annual celebration of the beautiful bond between best mates. From heartwarming tributes to hilarious anecdotes, the internet is flooded with heart emojis, virtual high fives, and memes that only best mates understand.

What makes National Best Mate Day even more special is the way it transcends borders and brings people together from around the world. Best mates share a language that knows no boundaries, a language of in-jokes, shared experiences, and unconditional support.

Fun Activities to Celebrate

So, how can you show your best mate some love on this special day? Here are a few ideas:

  • Plan a best mate day out: Whether it's a picnic in the park, a movie marathon, or an adventure to a new city, spending quality time with your best mate is always a blast.
  • Send a heartfelt message: Take a moment to write a heartfelt message to your best mate, expressing your gratitude for their friendship. It might just make their day!
  • Create a best mate playlist: Compile a playlist of songs that remind you of your best mate. It's like a musical time capsule that captures all your shared memories.

Did You Know?

Did you know that an Australian term for a best mate is 'matey'? So, next time you want to refer to your best mate with an Aussie flair, just call them your 'matey' and see how they react!

History behind the term 'Best Mate'


Captain James Cook's Expeditions

Captain James Cook, on his first voyage to the Pacific, used the term 'mate' to refer to a close friend or companion. This term was commonly used among sailors during that time.


First recorded use of 'mate'

The term 'mate' first appeared in the English language in 1856 as a noun from the word 'matie,' which was derived from the Middle Low German 'māt(e).' It was initially used by sailors to refer to a fellow sailor or friend on board a ship.


Introduction of the term 'mate' in Australian slang

In 1851, during the Australian gold rush, the term 'mate' was first introduced into the Australian slang. Derived from the word 'comrade', 'mate' was used to refer to a friend or companion, especially in a casual and informal manner.


First recorded use of 'mate'

The term 'mate' as a noun was first recorded in 1739. It originated from the Middle Low German word 'māt', meaning companion or comrade.


The Beginnings

The term 'best mate' first originated in 1777, during the golden age of sailing. Sailors referred to their closest companion on board as their 'best mate.' These mates would share the same bunk, eat together, and watch out for each other during their long and dangerous voyages. The bond formed between sailors in these early days laid the foundation for the term's future cultural significance.


Origin of the term 'mate'

The term 'mate' has its origins in maritime culture and was commonly used among sailors in the 19th century. It referred to a fellow sailor or shipmate and emphasized a sense of camaraderie and mutual understanding. The close-knit nature of ship life contributed to the development of strong friendships, which led to the use of the term 'mate' to denote a trusted friend.


The Emergence of 'Mate'

The term 'mate' originated in the maritime context during the 18th century. It was derived from the word 'matey,' which meant a shipmate or crew member. Sailors would refer to each other as 'mate' to signify equality and camaraderie aboard a ship.


Convict origins

The term 'best mate' has its roots in the early days of Australia when it was primarily a penal colony. In 1829, the phrase 'best mate' was commonly used among convicts to refer to their closest and most trusted friend. It was a way for convicts to show camaraderie and support in a challenging environment.


First recorded usage

The term 'best mate' was first recorded in 1788 in the English language. It originated from the phrase 'best companion,' which referred to someone who was considered the closest and most trusted friend. During this time, the term was commonly used by sailors to describe their most trusted shipmate.


The Australian Influence

In the early 19th century, the term 'best mate' gained popularity in Australia, becoming deeply ingrained in the country's culture. Australian convicts and settlers used the term to describe their closest friend or companion. This bond was particularly crucial among convicts, who relied on the support and loyalty of their 'best mates' for their survival in harsh conditions.


Working-class slang

During the 1880s, the term 'best mate' gained popularity as a part of working-class slang in Australia. It was used to describe a person's closest and most loyal friend, especially among laborers and those in manual professions. This colloquialism reflected the importance of camaraderie and the strong bonds formed among mates in Australian society.


Use of the term 'best mate'

The term 'best mate' started to gain popularity in the mid-19th century, particularly in British and Australian English. It was an extension of the original term 'mate,' emphasizing the extraordinary bond and level of trust between two individuals. 'Best' was added to signify the highest degree of friendship, surpassing the ordinary use of the term 'mate.' This expression became synonymous with an inseparable companion or a close confidant, denoting an unbreakable bond between two people.


Introduction of 'best mate'

The phrase 'best mate' emerged later in 1889, combining the existing term 'mate' with 'best' to emphasize a particularly close and trusted friendship. This term was used to denote a person who was considered a reliable and loyal companion above all others.


The term 'best mate' gains popularity

By 1908, the term 'best mate' started to gain popularity in Australia. It emphasized the close bond and loyalty between friends. 'Best mate' became an endearing term used to describe someone who is not just a friend but a person you trust and rely on unconditionally.


The Combination of 'Best' and 'Mate'

The term 'best mate' emerged during the mid-19th century as a way to subtly highlight that someone was considered to be the closest and most loyal friend among their companions.


Popularized in literature

The term 'best mate' gained popularity in the mid-19th century through its usage in literature. It was often used to depict strong bonds of friendship and loyalty between characters. Writers recognized the emotional significance behind the term and began incorporating it into their works, establishing 'best mate' as a widely recognized phrase.


Introduction of 'best mate'

The phrase 'best mate' began gaining prominence in the 19th century. It emerged as a way to denote a close and trusted friend or companion, highlighting the exceptional bond between individuals.


The Evolution into 'Best Mate'

Around the mid-19th century, the term 'best mate' started gaining popularity among British sailors. It was an enhanced version of 'mate' and emphasized a deep bond and trust between individuals. Using 'best mate' highlighted a special connection and enhanced the meaning of friendship.


'Best mate' becomes a popular colloquialism

By the early 20th century, 'best mate' had firmly established itself as a popular colloquialism, especially in British and Australian English. It became commonly used to describe an individual's closest and most trusted friend, often surpassing the bond of a regular 'mate.'


Expansion Beyond Maritime Culture

During the early 20th century, the term 'best mate' expanded its usage beyond the maritime setting and permeated into general English-speaking society. It became a popular way to describe a close friend or companion, emphasizing a strong and reliable relationship between individuals.

20th century

Popularization in pop culture

The term 'best mate' further cemented its place in popular culture during the 20th century. It found its way into books, songs, movies, and television, where characters used it to describe their closest friends or allies. The phrase's emotional impact resonated with audiences, showcasing the power of deep friendships that went beyond ordinary companionship. This widespread exposure contributed to the term's enduring popularity and solidified it as a symbol of true friendship.


The Anzac Legend

During World War I, the term 'best mate' became synonymous with the Anzac soldiers of Australia and New Zealand. The Anzacs formed an unbreakable camaraderie on the battlefield, supporting each other through the hardships of war. This strong bond of friendship and loyalty elevated the term 'best mate' to represent the ultimate level of trust and companionship.


Commonly used in Australian culture

In the late 19th century, the term 'best mate' became deeply ingrained in Australian culture. Australians are known for their strong camaraderie and the term quickly became a beloved expression of friendship in the country. It spread across various social groups and became a symbol of trust and loyalty among friends, transcending its original maritime origins.


Australian slang adoption

During the 1920s, the phrase 'best mate' gained popularity in Australian slang. Australia has a rich maritime and seafaring history, and the term resonated with the strong bonds formed between individuals in the close-knit communities of sailors and workers. It began to be used more widely in Australian English to refer to a close friend or beloved companion.


Significance during World War I

During World War I, the term 'best mate' took on a deeper meaning. Australian soldiers formed strong bonds with their fellow soldiers, relying on each other for support and protection in the midst of the war. 'Best mate' became synonymous with the idea of a fellow soldier who is like family, someone who you would risk your life for.

World War I

Anzac troops

The term 'best mate' gained further prominence during World War I when Australian and New Zealand troops, known as the Anzacs, formed strong bonds on the battlefields. Soldiers relied on their mates for support, both emotionally and physically, and the term 'best mate' became synonymous with the deep friendships forged during wartime.


Australian Slang

The term 'best mate' gained significant popularity in Australia, becoming deeply rooted in the country's culture, particularly among the working class and rural communities. It became a symbol of trust, loyalty, and camaraderie.


Digger Slang

In the Australian military, the term 'best mate' became deeply integrated into the digger slang of the time. Diggers, referring to Australian soldiers, used the term to describe their closest comrades in arms. The profound sense of brotherhood forged during times of conflict solidified the term's cultural significance and cemented its association with the Australian spirit of mateship.


Popularization in Australian culture

In the 1930s, the term 'best mate' became deeply ingrained in Australian culture. It was not only used to describe close friends but was also associated with the spirit of mateship, a concept highly valued in Australian society. Mateship emphasizes loyalty, solidarity, and camaraderie, forming an integral part of the national identity.

Present day

Continued usage and cultural significance

In the present day, 'best mate' remains a commonly used term, particularly in English-speaking countries. It conveys a sense of unwavering loyalty, trust, and support between close friends. This expression goes beyond mere friendship and encapsulates the profound connection between individuals who have stood by each other through thick and thin. Whether used in casual conversations or heartfelt speeches, 'best mate' continues to evoke feelings of warmth and companionship, representing the enduring power of true friendship.


'Best mate' becomes a part of everyday language

By the late 1960s, the term 'best mate' had transitioned from being a primarily Australian slang term to being widely used in everyday language. Its usage expanded beyond maritime and seafaring contexts to encompass close friendships in various settings, including schools, workplaces, and communities.


Expansion through Pop Culture

The term 'best mate' began to appear more frequently in mainstream media during the 1980s. It was commonly used in movies, TV shows, and music, further solidifying its place in popular culture.


Associated with Anzac soldiers in WWI

During World War I, the term 'best mate' gained even greater significance when it became commonly associated with the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) soldiers. The extraordinary camaraderie shown by the ANZACs in the face of adversity solidified the term's connection to the qualities of loyalty, friendship, and sacrifice.


Bush lore and folklore

In the 1930s, the term 'best mate' became ingrained in Australian bush lore and folklore. As a nation with vast unpopulated areas, Australians relied on their mates for survival in the harsh and unforgiving Outback. The image of two friends looking out for each other in the vast wilderness became emblematic of the Australian spirit.


Popularity in Australian Culture

In the 1950s, 'best mate' became deeply entrenched in Australian culture. The term gained significant popularity and was widely used to describe the uniquely strong bonds formed between individuals in Australia. It became a symbol of loyalty and trust among friends and was frequently used as a term of endearment.


'Best mate' enters broader public usage

The phrase 'best mate' entered broader public usage in various forms of media, including literature and films. Its portrayal as a deep and enduring friendship further solidified its cultural significance and made it resonate with a wider audience.

Modern Times

Global Usage

In contemporary times, the term 'best mate' has transcended its naval, Australian, and military origins to become universally understood as a cherished term for a closest and most trusted companion. It has found its way into everyday language across the globe, symbolizing friendship, loyalty, and support. 'Best mate' encapsulates the idea of exceptional camaraderie that withstands the test of time, inspiring people to celebrate the importance of their closest friendships.


Widely used in popular culture

Today, the term 'best mate' is widely recognized and used in popular culture. It has been incorporated into songs, films, and literature, further solidifying its place in the English language. The phrase continues to represent the deep bond between friends and the trust and support they provide for each other.


Australian National Best Mate Day

Recognizing the cultural significance of the term, Australia introduced National Best Mate Day on December 3rd. It celebrates the value of friendship and encourages people to appreciate and honor their best mates.

Present Day

Continued popularity and significance

In the present day, 'best mate' remains a widely recognized term, particularly in English-speaking countries. It is associated with profound emotional connections, loyalty, and unwavering support between individuals. Whether used in personal relationships or depicted in popular culture, 'best mate' embodies the essence of a deep and meaningful companionship.


Continued Global Usage

Today, 'best mate' is a widely recognized term used globally to describe a deep and enduring friendship. It carries sentiments of trust, loyalty, and companionship. Whether in personal relationships or popular culture, the term 'best mate' remains an endearing way to express a special bond between individuals.

Present day

Continued usage and cultural significance

In the present day, 'best mate' remains a popular phrase used across different English-speaking countries. It represents the deep connection and camaraderie shared between individuals who have formed a bond based on trust, loyalty, and mutual understanding. The term has become a symbol of friendship and is often used affectionately to describe someone who is considered a dependable and cherished companion.


Inclusion in dictionaries

In 1963, the term 'best mate' was recognized and added to Australian dictionaries. Its inclusion solidified its status as a widely accepted and used term in the country. The dictionary definition emphasized the close friendship and trust between individuals.


Popular culture

In the 1980s, the term 'best mate' gained widespread recognition and popularity through Australian popular culture. It was often featured in movies, TV shows, and literature as a quintessential Australian term that represented loyalty, friendship, and mateship. This helped solidify 'best mate' as a widely-used and recognized phrase in Australian society.


Continued usage and international recognition

Today, 'best mate' remains a beloved term in Australian culture and is often used to describe a person who is cherished and trusted above all others. This term has gained recognition around the world, thanks to its association with Australian culture, the spirit of mateship, and the enduring bond between close friends.


Contemporary usage

Today, the term 'best mate' continues to be an integral part of Australian vernacular. It is used to describe a person's closest and most trusted friend, emphasizing the values of loyalty and mutual support. 'Best mate' has become deeply ingrained in Australian culture, representing the importance of friendship and camaraderie in Australian society.

Did you know?

Did you know that an Australian term for a best mate is 'matey'? So, next time you want to refer to your best mate with an Aussie flair, just call them your 'matey' and see how they react!


fun loved ones

First identified

8th June 2015

Most mentioned on

8th June 2016

Total mentions


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