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booty shorts

What does booty shorts mean?

Booty shorts are very short shorts, typically worn by women, and intended to highlight or display the butt. Booty shorts generally refer to one of two things: tiny shorts intended for streetwear that can be made of various materials from denim and spandex, or a style of underwear similar to boyshorts, but higher cut in the rear.

Where does booty shorts come from?

The word has been in usage since the mid 1990s. Before then, the same type of shorts were called hot pants, which were popularized in the 1970s. The term booty shorts is used in reference to a very specific type of clothing. The length is integral to a pair of pants’ designation as booty shorts; they must be very, very short.

A few things to note…

The term booty shorts is used by many people. Women, since they are the targeted demographic for these types of shorts, tend to wear them more and thus tend to call them by this name more. In conversation, the younger crowd uses the word more than older people, perhaps because older generations are more familiar with the term hot pants.

Retailers have also embraced the term booty shorts on official product pages. A Google search for the term yields links to several such pages. If the product isn’t named booty shorts, then the term can also lurk in the product description. Booty shorts can be found on websites, though they seem especially prominent on sites featuring stripper gear, EDM (electronic dance music) clothing, and dancing outfits.

The word is used both inside and outside social media, although it lends itself more to casual conversation. This is likely because booty shorts is not exactly a technical term, and the word booty itself isn’t suited for non-casual conversation.

On the internet and outside of social media, the term also makes an appearance on fitness or body-related websites, thanks to its popularity as workout bottoms.

For example…

“I had busted out booty shorts and a crop top for summer, and I was looking hella fly.”

Jesse Kneeland, “How Dreaming of Thigh Gaps Could Be Ruining Your Life,” ReModel Fitness (June 16, 2015)

“Booty shorts are for girls (or boys, no judgement) with more courage, who don’t live in conservative environments”

Helene Winge, “What is the difference between shorts and booty short?” Quora (May 27, 2016)

“leather car seats and booty shorts don't mix in this az heat”

Chlo @_Chloelertzman Twitter (March 21, 2017)

This is not a formal definition of booty shorts like most terms we define on Dictionary.com, but is rather an informal word summary that touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of booty shorts that will help you expand your word mastery.