Origin of fam
Words nearby fam
Other definitions for fam (2 of 4)
Other definitions for fam (3 of 4)
Other definitions for fam (4 of 4)
or F. & A.M.
ABOUT THS WORD
What does fam mean?
Fam, short for family, is a slang word used for one’s close friends—your people.
Where did the term fam come from?
Many English speakers have abbreviated fam to family for blood/domestic relations, but fam as slang for one’s “people” originates in Black English and has been documented since at least the early 2000s. It also has a history of use in urban British slang as well.
Fam are usually not parents, siblings, and relatives, but intimate friends you confide in and trust and who always have your back. For instance, your pals on Twitter may be your Twitter fam.
In 2014, the Twitter account @WorldStarFunny posted an image of a man with a strange haircut captioned: “he sat in the barbers chair and just said ‘f*ck my whole life up fam’.” This inspired a meme, and since then, images of people with unusual hairdos have circulated the internet, featuring fam in the caption.
Fam had another big moment in 2016. MTV covered it in an article about new slang, and it was frequently discussed on various Reddit subreddits, including r/BlackPeopleTwitter and r/OutOfTheLoop. This helped it spread, especially on social media.
How to use the term fam
The slang fam isn’t usually used for blood/domestic family, but many people may casually abbreviate that family to fam, too.
A typical slang fam usage would be addressing your friends (e.g., Hey fam, you alright?) and isn’t restricted by quantity. Fam could be one person (She is my fam) or one hundred (dictionary lovers are my fam).
Fam is still widely used in Black communities but has since spread into mainstream slang in texting, social media, and speech.
Let’s not give trashy content traction, fam. Remember, the more you engage with a post, the more successful it is. Every mention, reply, QT, RT counts as engagement. Don’t give them that satisfaction. 👌🏻
— kach ⁷ 💜 (@thirdyisagirl) December 4, 2018
Fam also often appears in other slang phrases. Notably, it’s paired with it’s lit, fam (“It’s excellent, friends”) and nah fam (“I don’t think so, guys”). It can also, of course, be used by itself.
Barber: What you want, bro?
Him: You ever ate a panini?
Barber: Say no more fam. pic.twitter.com/cgsdimG4HX
— Weird Movie Brothers (@WeirdMovieBros) December 4, 2018
More examples of fam:
“The Queen Reportedly Has A V. Wacky Rule She Makes Her Fam Follow On Xmas Day”
—Matt Galea, PEDESTRIAN.TV (headline), December 2018
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.
How to use fam in a sentence
I don't love the damn' scoundrel any betteh than you do, Graham; but thah's a reason—a fam'ly reason, as you might say.The Wreckers|Francis Lynde
They were a singularly badly mated couple, with a fam'ly iv fourteen childher, but he did not live long to enjoy his happiness.
If ye think th' highest jooty iv citizenship is to raise a fam'ly why don't ye give a vote to th' shad?
Th' house is burned, th' sheriff has levied on his furniture or th' fam'ly are down with th' whoopin' cough.
Th' very young mimbers iv th' fam'ly ar-re standin' around, thryin' to look as sad as they think they ought to look.