The Word Detective. Answer to a question asked by one Stan Young an old codger from Australia.
"Codger, a name given when familiarly addressing an acquaintance" (Hampshire Glossary, 1876).
Codger noun used
affectionately to refer to an eccentric but amusing old
According to the New Oxford American Dictionary a codger is “an elderly man, especially one who is old-fashioned or eccentric.” www.podictionary.com .
following the word "old";
"Well, it seems the word codger started out in life as “cadger” – as in someone who cadges off others. And the verb “to cadge” started off as a variation on “catch” but along the way came to mean “beg”, and, hence, a “cadger” was a beggar. This expression was gradually softened into “old codger” – meaning “a crusty old man” By the mid 19th century it was being used more generally, so that any adult male could be called affectionately “an old codger”. That’s the history of the word: from a beggar out to catch all he can, to a grumpy old grandfather figure, to any bloke or chap you run into. Early in its history, when the word was still “cadger” it was meant contemptuously, but now it is most often meant affectionately. The OED says it had a dialectical and colloquial origin." [Kel Richards http://www.abc.net.au/newsradio/ ]