[ hohm-boi ]
/ ˈhoʊmˌbɔɪ /
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noun Slang.
a person from the same locality as oneself.
a close friend or fellow gang member.
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Origin of homeboy

An Americanism dating back to 1895–1900; home + boy
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does homeboy mean?

Homeboy is a slang term for a close male friend. It can refer to a boy or a man.

The word homegirl is used in the same way to refer to a close female friend.

Shortened, gender-neutral versions of these terms include homie and homey, which are perhaps even more commonly used.

All of these terms can be used to refer to a friend, as in This is my homeboy Russel, or as a term of address for one, as in Hey, homeboy! 

These terms are all associated with urban and hip hop culture and are primarily used by members of African American and Latinx communities in the U.S.

They commonly refer to a close friend who’s from the same neighborhood. In some cases, the words are used to refer to a fellow gang member. However, the terms have entered mainstream use and usually simply refer to a close friend.

Homeboy is frequently used with a possessive pronoun, as in my homeboy. 

Example: I’m having a night out with just me and my homeboys.

Where does homeboy come from?

The first records of the word homeboy in its modern sense come from the 1900s. It was used earlier to refer to a boy who’s loyal to his hometown or who’s a homebody.

Terms like homeboy, homegirl, homie, and homey started to gain in popularity after the 1960s. Today, they are closely associated with hip hop culture.

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What are some synonyms for homeboy?

What are some words that share a root or word element with homeboy


What are some words that often get used in discussing homeboy?

How is homeboy used in real life?

Homeboy is a slang term that’s always used informally. It’s primarily used by members of the African American and Latinx community.


How to use homeboy in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for homeboy

/ (ˈhəʊmˌbɔɪ) /

noun slang, mainly US
a close friend
a person from one's home town or neighbourhood

Derived forms of homeboy

homegirl, fem n

Word Origin for homeboy

C20: US rap-music usage
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012