Top 43 Slang For African American – Meaning & Usage

From AAVE to iconic catchphrases, African American slang has become an essential part of American culture. Get ready to level up your slang game as we take you on a journey through the top phrases and expressions that have shaped the African American community. Whether you’re looking to connect with friends or simply want to stay in the know, this listicle is a must-read for anyone interested in the vibrant world of African American slang. Get ready to slay those conversations like a true wordsmith!

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1. Homie

This term is used to refer to a close friend or companion, often someone from the same neighborhood or community. It is a term of endearment and camaraderie.

  • For example, “Hey, homie, let’s grab some lunch.”
  • In a conversation about loyalty, someone might say, “My homie has always had my back.”
  • A person might introduce their friend by saying, “This is my homie, we go way back.”

2. Brotha

This term is used to refer to a brother or friend, often someone from the same racial or cultural background. It’s a way to acknowledge a sense of kinship and camaraderie.

  • For instance, “What’s up, brotha? Long time no see.”
  • In a conversation about support, someone might say, “I always got my brotha’s back.”
  • A person might introduce their friend by saying, “This is my brotha, we’ve been through a lot together.”

3. Sis

This term is used to refer to a sister or friend, often someone from the same racial or cultural background. It’s a way to acknowledge a sense of sisterhood and camaraderie.

  • For example, “Hey, sis, let’s go shopping.”
  • In a conversation about support, someone might say, “I always got my sis’s back.”
  • A person might introduce their friend by saying, “This is my sis, we’ve been friends since childhood.”

4. Fam

This term is used to refer to family or close friends, often people who are like family. It’s a way to acknowledge a strong bond and connection.

  • For instance, “What’s up, fam? Let’s hang out.”
  • In a conversation about loyalty, someone might say, “I’ll always be there for my fam.”
  • A person might introduce their close friends by saying, “These are my fam, we’re like brothers and sisters.”

5. OG

This term is used to refer to someone who is highly respected and has been around for a long time. It originated in African American communities and is often used to describe someone with authority or influence.

  • For example, “He’s an OG in the music industry.”
  • In a conversation about experience, someone might say, “Listen to what the OG has to say, he knows what he’s talking about.”
  • A person might refer to their older family member as the OG of the family.

6. G

This term is used to refer to someone who is involved in criminal activities or is associated with a gang. It can also be used as a term of respect or endearment among friends.

  • For example, in a rap song, the lyrics might say, “I’m a G, I run these streets.”
  • Friends might greet each other by saying, “What’s up, G?”
  • In a conversation about street culture, someone might say, “Being a G is about loyalty and respect.”

7. Bae

This term is used as a term of endearment for a romantic partner or someone you deeply care about. It can also be used to refer to a close friend.

  • For instance, someone might post a picture with their significant other and caption it, “Date night with my bae.”
  • Friends might refer to each other as “bae” to express their closeness.
  • In a conversation about relationships, someone might say, “Finding a bae who supports you is important.”

8. Playa

This term is used to describe someone who is skilled at attracting and dating multiple romantic partners. It can also refer to someone who is smooth or charming in their interactions with others.

  • For example, someone might say, “He’s such a playa, he always has multiple dates lined up.”
  • In a discussion about dating advice, someone might say, “Don’t be a playa, be genuine and respectful.”
  • Friends might tease each other by saying, “You think you’re a playa, but you’re just lucky.”

9. Homie G

This term is used to refer to a close friend or someone you consider to be like family. The addition of “G” emphasizes the friendship and camaraderie between individuals.

  • For instance, someone might say, “That’s my homie G, we’ve been friends since childhood.”
  • Friends might greet each other by saying, “What’s up, homie G?”
  • In a conversation about loyalty, someone might say, “Homies G always have each other’s backs.”

10. Ride or die

This term is used to describe someone who is fiercely loyal and supportive, especially in difficult or dangerous situations. It implies a willingness to stick by someone’s side no matter what.

  • For example, someone might say, “She’s my ride or die, she’s always there for me.”
  • In a discussion about friendship, someone might say, “A true friend is a ride or die, they’ll never abandon you.”
  • Friends might express their loyalty by saying, “I’m your ride or die, I’ll always have your back.”

11. BFF

This term refers to a close friend or group of friends who are considered to be like family. BFF is often used to express a strong bond and loyalty between friends.

  • For example, someone might say, “She’s my BFF, we’ve been inseparable since kindergarten.”
  • In a social media post, a person might caption a photo with their friends, “Out with my BFFs, living our best lives.”
  • A person might refer to their close-knit group of friends as their “BFF squad.”
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12. Ace

In African American slang, “ace” is used to describe something or someone who is exceptional or highly skilled. It can also be used as a term of endearment.

  • For instance, someone might say, “He’s an ace basketball player, he never misses a shot.”
  • A person might compliment a friend by saying, “You did an ace job on that presentation.”
  • In a romantic relationship, someone might call their partner “ace” as a term of affection.

13. Squad

This term refers to a close-knit group of friends or associates. It is often used to describe a group of people who have a strong bond and spend a lot of time together.

  • For example, someone might say, “I’m going out with my squad tonight, we always have a great time.”
  • In a social media post, a person might caption a photo with their friends, “Squad goals.”
  • A person might refer to their group of friends as their “squad” when making plans or discussing social activities.

14. Boo

In African American slang, “boo” is a term of endearment used to refer to a romantic partner, close friend, or loved one.

  • For instance, someone might say, “I’m going out with my boo tonight, we’re having a date night.”
  • A person might express affection by saying, “I love you, boo.”
  • In a playful context, someone might tease their friend by saying, “What’s up, boo? You ready to have some fun?”

15. Main squeeze

This term refers to a person’s primary romantic partner or significant other. It is often used to describe someone who holds a special place in someone’s life and is their main source of love and companionship.

  • For example, someone might introduce their partner by saying, “This is my main squeeze, we’ve been together for years.”
  • A person might express their love and commitment by saying, “You’re my main squeeze, I can’t imagine my life without you.”
  • In a conversation about relationships, someone might ask, “Who’s your main squeeze? Are you seeing anyone special?”

16. Ace boon coon

This term is used to refer to a close friend or someone who is like family. It is often used in a positive and endearing way.

  • For example, “Me and my ace boon coon are going to the party tonight.”
  • Two friends might greet each other by saying, “What’s up, ace boon coon?”
  • When introducing someone to others, a person might say, “This is my ace boon coon, we’ve known each other since childhood.”

17. Famalam

This term is a variation of the word “family” and is used to refer to close friends or people who are like family. It is commonly used in African American communities.

  • For instance, “Hey famalam, let’s go grab some food.”
  • A person might say, “I’m going to a party with my famalam tonight.”
  • When greeting a group of friends, someone might say, “What’s up, famalam?”

18. Home skillet

This term is used to refer to a close friend or someone who is like family. It is a playful and informal way to address someone in a friendly manner.

  • For example, “Hey home skillet, how’s it going?”
  • Two friends might say, “Let’s hang out this weekend, home skillet.”
  • When introducing someone to others, a person might say, “This is my home skillet, we’ve been friends for years.”

19. My guy

This term is used to refer to a close friend or someone who is trusted and relied upon. It is often used in a casual and friendly manner.

  • For instance, “I’m going to the game with my guy.”
  • Two friends might greet each other by saying, “What’s up, my guy?”
  • When recommending someone, a person might say, “You should talk to my guy, he knows a lot about that.”

20. My girl

This term is used to refer to a close female friend or someone who is like a sister. It is a term of endearment and camaraderie.

  • For example, “I’m going shopping with my girl.”
  • Two friends might say, “Hey, my girl, let’s grab lunch.”
  • When introducing someone to others, a person might say, “This is my girl, we’ve been best friends since college.”

21. My dude

This is a casual way of referring to a close friend or acquaintance. “Dude” is a gender-neutral term that can be used to address anyone.

  • For example, one might say, “Hey, what’s up, my dude?”
  • In a conversation about plans, someone might ask, “Are you coming to the party, my dude?”
  • A person might express gratitude by saying, “Thanks for helping me out, my dude.”

22. My ride or die

This phrase refers to someone who is always there for you and stands by your side no matter what. They are your most trusted and reliable friend or partner.

  • For instance, one might say, “She’s not just a friend, she’s my ride or die.”
  • In a conversation about loyalty, someone might say, “I need a ride or die friend who will always have my back.”
  • A person might express their commitment by saying, “I’ll always be your ride or die, no matter what.”

23. My main

This term is used to refer to someone who is the most important person in your life, whether it’s a best friend or a romantic partner.

  • For example, one might say, “He’s my main, I can always count on him.”
  • In a conversation about relationships, someone might ask, “Who’s your main right now?”
  • A person might express their love and loyalty by saying, “You’ll always be my main, no matter what.”

24. My partner

This term is used to refer to someone who is your close friend or romantic partner. It implies a strong bond and connection with the person.

  • For instance, one might say, “She’s not just my girlfriend, she’s my partner.”
  • In a conversation about relationships, someone might ask, “How long have you been with your partner?”
  • A person might express their appreciation by saying, “I’m grateful to have you as my partner.”

25. My ace

This term is used to refer to someone who is your closest friend or ally. They are always there for you and you trust them completely.

  • For example, one might say, “He’s my ace, we’ve been through everything together.”
  • In a conversation about friendship, someone might ask, “Who’s your ace?”
  • A person might express their loyalty by saying, “I’ll always have your back, you’re my ace.”

26. My homie

This term is a casual way to refer to a close friend or companion, often used within the African American community.

  • For example, “Hey, my homie and I are going to grab some lunch.”
  • A person might introduce their friend by saying, “This is my homie, we’ve known each other for years.”
  • In a conversation about loyalty, someone might say, “I would do anything for my homie, they’ve always had my back.”

27. Hustler

In African American slang, a “hustler” typically refers to someone who works hard, is resourceful, and finds ways to make money or achieve success.

  • For instance, “He’s a hustler, always finding new opportunities to make a profit.”
  • In a discussion about entrepreneurship, someone might say, “Being a successful hustler requires creativity and determination.”
  • A person might compliment someone’s work ethic by saying, “You’re a real hustler, always putting in the effort to reach your goals.”

28. Baller

In African American slang, a “baller” is often used to describe someone who is successful, wealthy, or living a luxurious lifestyle.

  • For example, “He’s a baller, driving around in a fancy sports car.”
  • In a conversation about financial success, someone might say, “I’m working hard to become a baller in my industry.”
  • A person might admire someone’s extravagant lifestyle by saying, “She’s a true baller, always staying in the best hotels and wearing designer clothes.”

29. Woke

The term “woke” originated within the African American community and refers to being aware and knowledgeable about social and political issues, particularly those affecting marginalized communities.

  • For instance, “She’s woke and actively involved in advocating for equality.”
  • In a discussion about racial injustice, someone might say, “It’s important for everyone to stay woke and educate themselves on systemic racism.”
  • A person might express their own awareness by saying, “I used to be ignorant, but now I’m woke and committed to making a difference.”

30. Lit

In African American slang, “lit” is often used to describe something that is exciting, fun, or highly energetic.

  • For example, “The party last night was lit, everyone was dancing and having a great time.”
  • In a conversation about concerts, someone might say, “The atmosphere was so lit, the crowd was really into it.”
  • A person might describe a thrilling experience by saying, “The roller coaster ride was absolutely lit, I felt an adrenaline rush the whole time.”

31. Swag

Swag refers to a person’s style and confidence. It is often used to describe someone who has a fashionable and cool demeanor.

  • For example, “He’s got so much swag, always dressed to impress.”
  • A person might compliment someone’s outfit by saying, “You’re rocking that swag today!”
  • In a conversation about personal style, someone might say, “I love his swag, he always knows how to put an outfit together.”

32. Player

A player is someone who is skilled or successful with romantic partners. It typically refers to someone who is smooth, charming, and able to attract multiple romantic interests.

  • For instance, “He’s such a player, always flirting with different people.”
  • A person might warn their friend about someone by saying, “Be careful, he’s a known player.”
  • In a discussion about dating, someone might say, “I don’t want to date a player, I’m looking for something more serious.”

33. Jawn

Jawn is a versatile slang term used in African American communities to refer to a person, place, or thing. It can be used in various contexts and has no specific meaning.

  • For example, “I saw this jawn at the store, it was so cool.”
  • A person might ask their friend, “What’s that jawn you’re holding?”
  • In a casual conversation, someone might say, “I need to grab my jawn before we leave.”

34. Thirsty

Thirsty is a term used to describe someone who is desperate or overly eager for attention or validation, especially in a romantic or social context.

  • For instance, “He’s so thirsty, always commenting on every girl’s Instagram post.”
  • A person might criticize someone’s behavior by saying, “Stop being so thirsty, it’s not attractive.”
  • In a conversation about dating, someone might say, “I can’t stand when people act thirsty, it’s a major turn-off.”

35. Bro

Bro is a term used to refer to a close male friend. It is often used as a casual and friendly way of addressing someone.

  • For example, “Hey bro, what’s up?”
  • A person might introduce their friend by saying, “This is my bro, we’ve known each other since college.”
  • In a conversation about friendship, someone might say, “I’m grateful to have such supportive bros in my life.”

36. Cuz

This term is often used as a friendly or familiar way to address someone, similar to calling them “cousin”. It can also be used to refer to a close friend or associate.

  • For example, “Hey cuz, what’s up?”
  • In a conversation about family, someone might say, “I’m going to visit my cuz this weekend.”
  • A person might introduce their friend by saying, “This is my cuz, we’ve known each other since we were kids.”

37. Blood

This term is used to refer to a close friend or associate, often in a gang or street context. It is derived from the term “blood brother”, which historically referred to two individuals who had made a pact to treat each other as family.

  • For instance, in a rap song, a lyric might say, “I ride with my bloods, we always got each other’s back.”
  • In a conversation about loyalty, someone might say, “He’s my blood, I trust him with my life.”
  • A person might greet their friend by saying, “What’s up, blood?”

38. Dawg

This term is a variation of the word “dog” and is used to refer to a close friend or associate. It is often used in African American Vernacular English (AAVE) and hip-hop culture.

  • For example, “What’s up, dawg?”
  • In a conversation about hanging out, someone might say, “I’m going to chill with my dawgs tonight.”
  • A person might refer to their friend by saying, “This is my dawg, we’ve been tight since forever.”

39. Homeboy

This term is used to refer to a close friend or someone from the same neighborhood or community. It implies a sense of familiarity and shared experiences.

  • For instance, “Hey, homeboy, long time no see!”
  • In a conversation about childhood friends, someone might say, “I grew up with my homeboys, we’ve been through a lot together.”
  • A person might introduce their friend by saying, “This is my homeboy, we go way back.”

40. Soul brother

This term refers to someone who shares a deep connection or understanding, often based on shared experiences or a common cultural background. It can also imply a sense of solidarity or support.

  • For example, “He’s my soul brother, we just get each other.”
  • In a conversation about music, someone might say, “That artist is my soul brother, their lyrics speak to my soul.”
  • A person might describe their friend by saying, “He’s more than just a friend, he’s my soul brother.”

41. Crew

This term refers to a close-knit group of friends or associates, often used within the African American community. It signifies a strong bond and camaraderie among individuals.

  • For example, “I’m rolling with my crew tonight, we’re going to have a great time.”
  • In a conversation about loyalty, someone might say, “My crew always has my back, no matter what.”
  • A person might introduce their friends by saying, “This is my crew, we’ve been tight since high school.”

42. Road dog

This term is used to describe a close friend or companion, someone who is always by your side and has your back. It signifies a deep level of trust and loyalty in the African American community.

  • For instance, “Me and my road dog have been through thick and thin together.”
  • In a discussion about friendship, someone might say, “A true road dog is someone you can always count on.”
  • A person might refer to their best friend as their road dog, saying, “This is my road dog, we’ve been through it all together.”

43. Sidekick

This term is used to describe a close friend or partner who is always by your side. It signifies a strong bond and companionship within the African American community.

  • For example, “Me and my sidekick are inseparable, we do everything together.”
  • In a conversation about loyalty, someone might say, “I know I can always rely on my sidekick.”
  • A person might introduce their best friend by saying, “This is my sidekick, we’ve been through thick and thin together.”