GEE WHILLIKERS! WAIT TILL YOU SEE THIS WORD OF THE DAY QUIZ!
Origin of fam
Words nearby fam
Definition for fam (2 of 4)
Definition for fam (3 of 4)
Definition 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.
Example sentences from the Web for fam
He's another with a wife and fam'ly, and he gets the dancin', too.The Virginian|Owen Wister
Famulus, fam′ū-lus, n. a private secretary or factotum: an attendant, esp.
Isn't it a pity though that Mary Rose couldn't have taken more after her mother's fam'ly?Mary Rose of Mifflin|Frances R. Sterrett
"Ruth does all th' reading for this fam'ly," was Stiles's muttered rejoinder.On Secret Service|William Nelson Taft
Uncle Bob said our fam'ly always believed that it brought 'em good luck to own this umbrella.Sky Island|L. Frank Baum