Difference between Buddy and Pal

Key Difference: Both buddy and pal are one and the same thing. Buddy is an informal way to refer to a male friend. Pal is an informal term used for a male friend or it can also be used for talking to a man who has made you angry.

Buddy and pal are also used as synonyms. Both words are used to refer to a friend. These are the most popular words among friends, but pal is largely unused. A friend is the one who shows the value of their friendship by expressing the tendency to desire what is best for the other, mutual understanding and compassion; ability to go to each other for emotional support, etc.

According to Dictionary.com, ‘Buddy’ is:

  • To be a companion; be friendly or on intimate terms.
  • To become friendly; be on friendly or intimate terms.
  • To work closely together: to buddy up with a student from another high school.
  • Buddy up to, to become friendly with or curry the favor of

Buddy is an informal way to refer to a male friend. It might refer to a best friend or in the American English, it is also applicable for mate. Buddy is sometimes used as a synonym for friend. It is also specifically denoted to a friend whom with one engages in a particular activity, such as study buddy, shopping buddy, movie buddy, etc. Anybody can have a buddy to do different kind of activities. It is an informal word, but not slang.

According to Chuck and Lency Spezzano, there are five types of buddies:

  • The Like-Minded Buddy – the buddies who feels very familiar and help each other with mutual and effective ways of dealing with issues.
  • The Chalk and Cheese Buddy – this buddy appears to be the exact opposite of yourself. You tent to express the same emotion in different ways.
  • The Significant other body – this buddy reminds you of a significant person in your life.
  • The Shadow Buddy – this buddy represents parts of yourself you have judged and hidden.
  • The Guardian Angel Buddy – you feel he is to be your angel; the person who will guide you through each and every moment of your life.

According to Dictionary.com, ‘Pal’ is:

  • A very close, intimate friend; comrade; chum.
  • An accomplice.

There is not much to define on pal. Pal is an informal, old-fashioned word, which is not heard so commonly today. It is used for a person who is a friend from one's childhood. It can also be used in an informal term or it can also be used for talking to a man who has annoyed you or made you angry. The usage of pal sometimes refers to the context of a brother. A pal can be a non-living thing too. For example, kid's pals are their toys, with whom they love to spend time with and share their feelings or joys.

Comparison between Buddy and Pal:





Buddy is an informal way to particularly refer to a male friend or it can be anyone.

Pal in an informal term used for a male friend or it can also be used for talking to a man who has made you angry.


Usually, a male

Mostly refers to a male friend as a brother.


It is an informal word

It is usually an informal word


  • Hey, buddy, what are you doing?
  • Hi Buddy, wassup?
  • Albert is one of his oldest pals, and a school friend.
  • Hey look, pal, I'm only doing my job here.

Image Courtesy: jenniferhall.com, ivillage.com

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