What does honey badger mean?
You don’t know about honey badger? Well, honey badger don’t care. The honey badger is a small, fierce mammal also known as a ratel, made famous by a viral video that showed the honey badger’s badassery.
Where does honey badger come from?
The honey badger came to fame in a video called “The Crazy Nastyass Honey Badger,” posted to YouTube by user czg123 in January 2011.
The video pairs nature documentary footage from National Geographic with a humorous narration. Unlike the more formal, academic tone of nature documentary narrators like David Attenborough, this excitable narrator, only referred to as Randall, describes the creature’s life with a kind of campy surprise and vulgarity.
The honey badger hunts for food, gets stung by bees, gets bitten by a venomous cobra, and then eats said cobra, all while Randall repeatedly notes how the “honey badger don’t care” and “honey badger don’t give a shit.”
In the following months, the video went viral and began to appear on mainstream news sites like HuffPost and Forbes.
Randall, who still maintains an entire YouTube channel of animal videos as well as songs and rants, wisely cashed in on his newfound fame. In September 2011, he narrated a TV commercial that featured a honey badger cracking pistachios. In January 2012, he released a book titled Honey Badger Don’t Care: Randall’s Guide to Crazy, Nastyass Animals. At one point, a TV show was in the works, but it never materialized.
Eventually the honey badger came full circle, when an actual National Geographic video repeated Randall’s “honey badger don’t care” line in 2015 (without using any of Randall’s more colorful phrasings).
The original honey badger video has been viewed nearly 90 million times as of June 2018.
Examples of honey badger
Who uses honey badger?
Since honey badgers are so awesome, lots of people want to be them. Because honey badger don’t care.
In March 2011, Australian rugby player Nick Cummins told reporters he was inspired by a “wildlife documentary” to adopt the ferociousness of the “fearless” animal. The timing suggests that the “documentary” probably was “The Crazy Nastyass Honey Badger.” Regardless, his statement stuck, and Cummins came to be known as the Honey Badger.
Louisiana State University football player Tyrann Mathieu also became known as the Honey Badger for his aggressive play. Even Randall acknowledged Mathieu’s honey badger-y, citing his “heart and vigor.” In 2012, NASCAR racer Danica Patrick also said she wanted to take on the honey badger’s attitude.
If you want to be more like a honey badger (and be honest, you do), there’s even a pre-workout energy supplement named after the beast. Probably not FDA-approved …
This is not meant to be a formal definition of honey badger like most terms we define on Dictionary.com, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of honey badger that will help our users expand their word mastery.