STOUT FELLOW! n. Exclamation indicative not of abhorrence of perceived corpulence, but of friendly admiration for a worthy act or statement. Thus, A: ‘I was caned by my teacher every time I talked out of turn, and I believe that made me the man I am today.’ B: ‘Stout fellow!’ Or, A: ‘I am not prepared to sit idly by while this government ruins the country’s economy.’ B: ‘Stout fellow!’ This usage derives from what was formerly the primary meaning of stout (brave or resolute). The modern meaning is, of course, plump or tending to fatness; a fact which permits a nice degree of innuendo in the use of the above expression when addressed to people who are, in fact, slightly overweight.
Peter Bowler, The Superior Person’s Book of Words
Stout Fellow! is a blog about my various endeavours in making and building things, mostly beer related, which I do in a little shed in north Dublin