Where does fifi come from?
In the early 1900s, fifi was used as a slang reference for an effeminate man. By the 1940s, the term was also a slur for "gay."
Fifi, sometimes appearing as fifi-bag, has been found in prison slang throughout the US since at least 1972. It means "vaginas" constructed out of everyday materials used for masturbation. The term made its way out of prison in the 1990s. Fifi is used in Eric B. and Rakim's 1990 hip-hop song, "Let the Rhythm Hit 'Em," as a slang term for "woman," with fifi here a coarse generalization of the original prison slang.
In a 1999 Google-forum discussion, "Masturbation tricks, tip [sic], and home devices," an anonymous user posted directions for making a fifi, suggesting the term was seeing wider adoption outside prison. Vice writer Gavin McInnes defined and explained assembly of a fifi in the 2003 Vice Guide to Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll. In 2008, another Vice article, "Uncle Pat's Fifi Bag" provided detailed, step-by-step instructions on how to construct a fifi using household items.
Who uses fifi?
Fifi is widely used among the American prison population and in discussions about life in American prisons. In 2015, for instance, a Reddit user uploaded a video instructional guide called For those of you that have not been to prison, here is a lesson on making a Fifi. The video made it to the front page of the site and sparked interest in the term on the internet.
Fifi is occasionally used in hip-hop as slang for "woman," apparently because of its use among inmates.
The slang fifi is not to be confused with a variety of other, unrelated fifi's. In 1942, the Commemorative Air Force first flew a Boeing B-29 Superfortress affectionately nicknamed FIFI in 1974. FIFI has been featured in several films and television shows, including the 2015 TV drama Better Call Saul. Fifi is also the name of a special type of climbing hook. And, in France, Fifi is a popular pet name for Josephine and sometimes literally a pet name for dogs, specifically French poodles.
I am persona non grata ever since my mom found my fifi bag under my sister's pillow...#FifiBag
@frank_gatling23, February, 2018
Then he told me about his Aryan Brotherhood cellmate Bones who showed him how to make something called a fifi-bag.
Vice, January, 2008
Before I get that fifi I met / Whisper "I wanna reach your intellect" / Kiss her 'cause I wanna give her the most respect / So I shine and let my write reflect
Eric B. and Rakim, "Let the Rhythm Hit 'Em" (song), 1990