About This Word

fafa

[fah-fuh]

What does fafa mean?

Fafa is a nonsense word parodying French. It can also be a pet form of father or papa.

Start learning about this word

fafa

magazine.ucla.edu

Where does fafa come from?

Fafa was popularized in 2007 thanks to the hit New Zealand comedy duo and show Flight of the Conchords. In an episode where one of the pair tries to impress a girl, they sing a song called "Foux Du Fafa." Its verses consist of random, beginner-level French expressions while the chorus strings together French-sounding syllables: "Foux du fa fa / Foux du fa fa fa fa/ Foux du fa fa /Ah ee ah."

Foux du fafa doesn't have any real meaning in French, though it resembles something like "crazy about the fafa." Nevertheless, its parody of the language—and English speakers' perception of it, à la frou-frou and fifi—made viewers laugh. Foux du fafa caught on among fans as a popular reference to the song and show.

Outside of Flight of the Conchords, fafa has some other notable meanings. Fafa can be a baby-talk reduplication for father, akin to dada or papa. Some in Filipino gay culture use fafa as an affectionate term for a male lover, based on papa, and use of fafa as a pet name for fathers more generally is common among some Filipinos. 

Fafa is also a noted nickname for Fabrice-Jean Fafà Picault, a popular player on the Philadelphia Union in Major League Soccer. Fans, fellow professionals, and sports journalists may refer to him as Fafà, from his mother's pet name for him growing up.

In Samoan culture, Fafa is sometimes used as an abbreviation for Fa'afafine, the name of a third gender referring to a person who was born male but raised female.

Who uses fafa?

As noted, fans of Flight of the Conchords may use fafa in speech and writing as an allusion to the "Foux Du Fafa" or as a French-sounding gibberish as inspired by the song.

Fafa otherwise is used in colloquial speech and writing in its various subcultural contexts, whether in reference to Samoan Fafa, Filipino fafa, or professional soccer's Fafa.

On social media, fafa is sometimes used as an affectionate abbreviation or pet name for one's father, especially among some younger people, often of Filipino descent.

For example

I love my fafa so much ❤️

@shaneoritaz, February, 2018

De Silva was singing the Flight of the Conchords song Foux du Fafa and Fafa [Picault] thought it was about him. It was all a huge misunderstanding, actually.

@bill_mk, March, 2018

Just got my 1st fedora @ age 37. Don't judge! Having Dad & Aunt Joan in the same room, reminded me of my Fafa - rocked a fedora in2 his 60s.

@TheBillHorn, December, 2009

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