Bae (word)

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Bae is a slang term of endearment[1] primarily used among youth in North America. It came into widespread use around 2013 and 2014 through social media and hip-hop and R&B lyrics.[2][3] It usually refers to a person's romantic partner, especially a boyfriend or girlfriend,[4] but has also been used as a general term of affection for things, including inanimate objects.[5][6][7]

The term originated as an abbreviation of the word "baby" or "babe".[2][8][9] It has been suggested that the term originated as an acronym for "before anyone else", but this is unlikely and this false etymology is probably an example of a backronym.[5][7][8][10]

Popular usage[edit]

Several Internet memes have caused the widespread adoption of the term. "Bae caught me slippin'" featured people posting pictures of themselves pretending to be asleep that were supposedly taken by their partners.[8] Lexicographer Grant Barrett wrote that this was "a kind of incompetent narcissistic guile which may capture the spirit of our age."[11] "Cooking for bae" featured people posting photos of failed dishes, often called "struggle meals", supposedly created for their partners. "You got a bae? Or nah?" originated on Vine and featured people chanting the phrase.[8]

The word's use in song lyrics dates to at least 2005, according to lyrics posted on Genius.[5][8] In 2014, Pharrell Williams used it in the title of his single "Come Get It Bae".[5][12] Chris Kelly of Fact wrote sarcastically that "nothing says timeless like a song with 'bae' in the title".[13]

The word was a runner-up for the Oxford Dictionaries 2014 Word of the Year.[3] Barrett nominated it for the American Dialect Society's 2013 Word of the Year.[8]

The term has been adopted by corporate social media. The Twitter account Brands Saying Bae highlights the use of corporate Twitter accounts employing the term. The Verge labeled this use as an "appropriation of urban youth culture".[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Solomon, Jane (January 22, 2015). "The Baest Bae to Ever Bae: Bae Isn't Just a Noun Anymore". Slate Magazine. Retrieved May 15, 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Selfie stick, concern troll, and bae: new words added to OxfordDictionaries.com | OxfordWords blog". OxfordWords blog. May 29, 2015. Retrieved May 15, 2017.
  3. ^ a b "The Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2014: runners-up | OxfordWords blog". OxfordWords blog. November 18, 2014. Retrieved May 15, 2017.
  4. ^ "bae – definition of bae in English | Oxford Dictionaries". Oxford Dictionaries | English. Retrieved May 15, 2017.
  5. ^ a b c d Hamblin, James. "The Death of Bae". The Atlantic. Retrieved May 15, 2017.
  6. ^ a b "Brands Saying Bae is the Twitter account we've needed in 2014". The Verge. December 28, 2014. Retrieved May 15, 2017.
  7. ^ a b Steinmetz, Katy (July 23, 2014). "This is What 'Bae' Means". Time. Retrieved May 15, 2017.
  8. ^ a b c d e f Whitman, Neal (March 27, 2014). ""Bae" Watch: The Ascent of a New Pet Name". Visual Thesaurus. Retrieved May 15, 2017.
  9. ^ Barrett, Grant (December 21, 2013). "A Wordnado of Words in 2013". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved May 15, 2017.
  10. ^ "Why you're probably wrong about acronyms | OxfordWords blog". OxfordWords blog. October 17, 2016. Retrieved May 15, 2017.
  11. ^ Barrett, Grant (December 19, 2013). "2013 Words of the Year". A Way With Words. Retrieved May 15, 2017.
  12. ^ Zarinsky, Natasha (July 25, 2014). "What the Hell is Up with 'Bae'?". Esquire. Retrieved May 15, 2017.
  13. ^ "GIRL". FACT Magazine: Music News, New Music. February 27, 2014. Retrieved May 15, 2017.