IT’S A WORD OF THE DAY QUIZ BONANZA!
Origin of Hun
usage note for Hun
OTHER WORDS FROM HunHun·like, adjective
ABOUT THIS WORD
What else does hun mean?
Where does hun come from?
The slang hun (from honey as an affectionate or familiar term of address) comes from a stereotype about women who work in multi-level marketing (MLM). The stereotype is that these women flatter people, or try to sound folksy, when attempting to make a sale or attract a new recruit, but becoming nasty upon resistance or rejection. For instance: Hey, hun, this could be your opportunity to make millions. Hun, as an affectionate term of address in a place of a specific name, also allows for quickly creating marketing messages in emails or on social media.
In MLM, salespersons have to work their networks to get new recruits and sales. But MLMs are popularly seen as pyramid schemes, and MLM workers as bombarding their friends and family about “exciting new business opportunities.” The stereotypically spammy nature of these messages earned these huns the additional nickname: hunbot on online forums like Reddit, a reference to the programmed language of chatbots or spambots.
Hun spread online in the mid-2010s, when MLM became more commonplace on social media, especially in Facebook groups among some young, stay-at-home moms, the type imagined to use a chummy hun.
Unrelated meanings of hun include the fearsome 5th-century Asiatic nomads, the Huns, notably Attila; the Irish Catholic slur hun for a Northern Irish Protestant; and the derogatory slang hun for a German, especially a German soldier during World War I and II.
How is hun used in real life?
People who oppose MLM—in particular ex-participants who felt taken advantage of—are the ones who most frequently use the terms hun and hunbot. Active MLM workers generally find hun offensive; they prefer to think of themselves as entrepreneurs.
More examples of hun:
I had been ‘hunzoned’; lulled into a false sense of security with someone who purported to be interested in me as a person, but was actually just trying to recruit me into their multi-level marketing scheme.
—Jessica Lindsay, Metro, July 2019
“ … MLM sellers, or huns, trying to capitalize on people’s greatest tragedies and heartbreaks in the most crass, opportunistic, and grotesque ways. Below, for example, a hun shills her CBD oil as a cure for PTSD by piggybacking off of Memorial Day.”
—Cassidy McGillicuddy, Patheos, May 2019
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 hun
Prime Minister Hun Sen had taken power in a bloody coup in July 1997.‘The Accidental Terrorist’: a California Accountant’s Coup|Adam Piore|May 2, 2012|DAILY BEAST
He might have elicited a smile rather than a cringe had he gone to that reliable standby, “to the right of Attila the Hun.”Analyzing the Political Humor of Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, and Mitt Romney|Mark Katz|February 15, 2012|DAILY BEAST
I always felt Attila The Hun set the clearest path for himself, what would today be called his “mission statement.”
Hun answered that the infant had no propertie in the shet, wherupon the priest ascited him in the spiritual courte.
Hundred, hun′dred, n. the number of ten times ten: a division of a county in England, orig.
The Hun's fire was now slackening, and in spite of the shortness of the range, decidedly erratic.Billy Barcroft, R.N.A.S.|Percy F. Westerman
The very character of the pompous little skipper had made the success of the Hun plot possible.Ruth Fielding Homeward Bound|Alice B. Emerson
"That Hun bomber just about rounds off a complete day of frightfulness for you two fellows," he said.Air Men o' War|Boyd Cable