Where does fye come from?
Fye, pronounced “fi-yuh,” comes from the word fire. Like many similar slang words, it signifies something that is exciting, noteworthy, extremely good, or awesome. Fire itself, with the standard spelling, is also used in this manner.
While its exact origins are unclear, fye appears to originate in African American English spoken in the South. Some people believe the slang dates back to the 1970s and have pointed to origins in such states as Georgia, Tennessee, and Florida, among others. The spelling and pronunciation of fye reflect the way r’s are dropped in Southern American English and African American English.
The Online Slang Dictionary, a crowdsourced project, has an entry for fire submitted in 1997 from a user in New Orleans, while the earliest Urban Dictionary entry using the spelling fye for the term is from 2003. Uses of fye on Twitter go back to about 2008. Fye experienced an uptick in popularity in the mid-to-late 2010s.
Who uses fye?
Fye is one of a range of similar words that use the concept of heat to denote excellence. Aside from the word fire itself (which has its own long and many-branched lineage of slang usages), lit, originally slang for being drunk, has been extended to means something exciting or something really great, e.g., “That party last night was lit.” On fire is slang for “really good,” especially as applied to a person. The fire emoji is also sometimes used in this manner, as in “Did you hear that new song? .” And none of this is to mention hot for “sexy.”
Fye is frequently used with the intensifying slang ass, often said of music, as in “This is a fye ass beat” or “Check out this fye ass new joint.”
Fye also can also be used in the African American English expression fire up, frequently as fye yo ass up. Rooted in slang for “to shoot” or “kill,” fye yo ass up is a metaphorical, often humorous way to say you’ll “rip on” or “lay into” someone. To get someone fye, moreover, is to get them “fired up,” that is, riled or excited.
Be mindful that FYE is a common, unrelated acronym for “fiscal year end” and “for your entertainment.” It is also the name of a US chain of entertainment stores.
“damn this new ciara is soooo fye”
Nafsi @WesTwoodP Twitter (December 15, 2008)
“Slow cooked ground turkey and spinach balls, #fye I promise you juicy goodness in every bite who says #fitfood has to be boring & bland?”
she_slimthick_fit Instagram (Apr 12, 2017)
“Who ever said Batman v. Superman wasn't fye lied like shit”
eric @es3carson Twitter (April 2, 2017)