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Origin of bama
Words nearby bama
ABOUT THIS WORD
What else does bama mean?
Bama, a clipped form of Alabama, is a nickname of the University of Alabama, the state, and the people who live there. Bama also popularly refers to the university’s successful SEC (Southeastern Conference) football program.
The term bama can also be used as slang for someone who is unstylish, unsophisticated, or uncool.
Where does bama come from?
Bama has been a shortening of Alabama since at least 1914, when W.C. Handy used it in his lyrics to “Yellow Dog Blues.”
Around this time, bama was also a term used by the African-American community to mean a poor, rural, often white person. And, that meaning is still around … the noun, a bama, has been African-American slang for an unhip, unstylish bumpkin since the 1970s.
In the 20th century, the University of Alabama began to officially adopt the abbreviation. For instance, in 1989, the University of Alabama Board of Trustees registered a patent to use the word Bama on merchandise. And in 2009, the university rebranded its new student orientation as “Bama Bound” and its online student portal “myBama.”
The widespread use of Bama to refer to the university’s athletic program is probably due to the sustained success of the football team. With two Heisman trophies and the most bowl games and National Championships of any team, the Alabama Crimson Tide has earned the university enough public relevancy to allow most to know Bama means the university.
How is bama used in real life?
The connotation carried by the term Bama typically depends on who uses it.
Southerners, particularly those who grew up near colleges in the Southeastern Conference, automatically associate Bama with the University of Alabama Crimson Tide football team. The “#bama” hashtag on Twitter, for instance, is entirely devoted to sharing news, photos, videos, and speculation about the team. In such cases, Bama is used with pride by its fans and with contempt by other football commentators and fans of rival teams.
LSU fans are big mad at Bama for a targeting call that happened against Mississippi State and lololol what? We live in their tin foil hat covered heads, Alabama Nation 🤣🤣🤣
— The Alabama Nation (@AlabamaNati0n) October 22, 2018
Did you know: Drew Brees has now beaten every NFL team but he has never beaten Bama.
— Jeff Asher (@Crimealytics) October 21, 2018
This usage with regard to the football team is also applicable more generally to the state—residents see Bama as a term of endearment, while outsiders, particularly Northerners, use it as a form of ridicule.
The slang usage of bama can be used by anyone referring to someone who is blatantly unstylish or unsophisticated. Typically, it is used to describe someone based on their attire.
This content is not meant to be a formal definition of this term. Rather, it is an informal summary that seeks to provide supplemental information and context important to know or keep in mind about the term’s history, meaning, and usage.
Example sentences from the Web for bama
Santorum was outspent five-to-one by Team Romney in 'bama and two-to-one in Mississippi.Romney’s Dixie Debacle in Mississippi and Alabama Primaries|Paul Begala|March 14, 2012|DAILY BEAST
And it will be a key reason that any Republican attempts to pursue a simply obstructionist "No-Bama" strategy will fail.
Usher was in Charlotte Tuesday, and Edie Falco is Bama Da Binging all over the state.My Front Row Seat in the Nation's Strangest Swing State|Jim Neal|October 30, 2008|DAILY BEAST
When I got a piece along the road, I heard something go 124 bama fall of rock, or something, down the cliff.The Heart of Canyon Pass|Thomas K. Holmes