Origin of ho1
Other definitions for ho (2 of 7)
Origin of ho2
Other definitions for ho (3 of 7)
Origin of ho3
Other definitions for ho (4 of 7)
Other definitions for ho (5 of 7)
Other definitions for ho (6 of 7)
Other definitions for ho (7 of 7)
ABOUT THIS WORD
What does ho mean?
Not to be confused with hoe (the gardening tool), a ho is an offensive term for a sex worker or a promiscuous woman. Some people use the term to insult women in general while some women have reclaimed the term.
What are other forms of ho?
Where does ho come from?
The slang ho comes from a pronunciation of whore in African American Vernacular English, which can drop word-final Rs. It’s been recorded as a term for a “prostitute” since the 1950s.
In the 1960s, ho became vulgar slang for any “woman.” In the 1970s, ho added a verb form, “to prostitute oneself.” It expanded to include sexually promiscuous men in the 1980s. Come the 1990s, ho was also insulting men seen as cowardly and effeminate. As is true of many disparaging slang terms, ho was reclaimed among some speakers as a term of address in the 2000s.
In the 2000s, an unrelated ho emerged as a slang abbreviation for half-ounce, referring to a half-ounce of drugs, typically marijuana.
How is ho used in real life?
Ho is a very insulting term for a sex worker or woman (compare bitch or slut). However, like those latter two words, some women may use ho in a reappropriated, affectionate way among friends (e.g., What’s up, ho?). Here, ho might even imply a sort of sassy, sexy personality and empowered womanhood.
@56kMarc happy birthday ho
— thareal_DDawg🔌🏚 (@gang_broskiDee) September 9, 2018
While ho can deride men, it’s most often used of women. When insulting men, it may be seen as more cute or playful. In hip-hop, ho is sometimes used as a generic term for a woman (e.g., bitches and hoes). We don’t recommend you go around calling just any woman a ho, however.
I'M SO GLAD EVERYONE KNEW WHAT AN EMOTIONAL HO I AM!!
— Aimee…af 🔪❤ (@AimNicRob) September 9, 2018
More examples of ho:
“You’re going to see Cardi B in a whole new light…She’s doing crazy sketches, like she has this thing called ‘Ho Etiquette’ where she does this character where she tells how do women to handle their inner ho and how to do a relationship.”
—Rip Michaels quoted by Kristin McNamara and Leah Bitsky, Page Six, August 2018
How to use ho in a sentence
There was Carol White, a ho-hum homemaker who finds herself besieged by multiple chemical sensitivity in Safe.
Lily Allen explained away the poor sales and ho-hum critical reception to Sheezus by…basically blaming other people.The Biggest Bombs of 2014: ‘Sex Tape,’ Mariah Carey’s Vocals, ‘How I Met Your Mother’ and More|Kevin Fallon|December 19, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Ho, 42, admitted that he had never stepped out of sight of the government minders but he insisted that was by choice.
All 130 employees share a similar vision and all seem very gung ho about their racy products.James Franco Gets Kinky: Inside the BDSM Porn Documentary 'Kink'|Marlow Stern|August 23, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Even after the subpoenas started flying, he remained gung-ho on entitlement reform.
The door banged shut behind him and I heard him at the foot of the stairs roaring "Ho-ho-there-ho!"The Soldier of the Valley|Nelson Lloyd
The men did “hold on” most powerfully; they did more, they hauled upon the rope, hand over hand, to a “Yo-heave-ho!”The Floating Light of the Goodwin Sands|R.M. Ballantyne
The sailors who had been lounging about the deck sprang up and looked eagerly across the waves, as the cheerful "Sail-ho!"Stories of Our Naval Heroes|Various
Then Crozier called with a great, cheery voice—what Mona used to call his tally-ho voice.You Never Know Your Luck, Complete|Gilbert Parker
And p. 48 epeid per ho ts lichanou topos eis apeirous temnetai tomas.The Modes of Ancient Greek Music|David Binning Monro