|Look up shorty in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
|Look up shawty in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
Shawty is mostly used to refer to a young and attractive woman, but can also be used for any person (usually a child or female) of short stature. Shorty is sometimes considered as a synonym for shawty. It's a pejorative term and in some cases used as a nickname.
Perhaps the earliest recorded use of "shorty" (most commonly referring or addressed to women) were in short film episodes of The Three Stooges, dating back to the late 1930s into the 1950s. Curly Howard (and Moe) most often used the word. Curly also had several pet canines, one named "Shorty".
The term has evolved to mean a child or woman (typically because children and women are shorter in height and females had often dressed in skirts or shorties), especially an attractive woman. The most recent usage has been popularized in modern rap music.
In pop culture and hip hop, the slang shawty (which is derived from the Southern United States pronunciation of "shorty"), has multiple meanings. In the 1980s and 1990s, the word meant "newcomer", particularly a newcomer to rap music or to certain aspects of street life or gang life. It also simply referred to someone who was younger and greener than the speaker.
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Despite the close pop culture links between the two countries, the word is almost nowhere to be found in the United Kingdom. Super Junior, a south Korean group often uses this slang in their songs.
Other examples and uses
Some additional uses of "shorty", pre-dating its hip hop meanings, are as character names for Eddie Lawrence's 1960s cartoon film series (featuring Swifty and Shorty) by Famous Studios and Tina's Pals (Baixinho meaning "Shorty" who is short and Curly's best friend) from the Brazilian comic book called Monica's Gang, beginning in the 1960s.
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