Slang dictionary

boi

[boi]

What does boi mean?

Boi is an alternate spelling of boy used to describe boys, yes, but also men, girls, women, and things that aren’t even human ...

Related words

gender-fluid, nonbinary gender, skater boy, phat ass, thicc, succ, gender-neutral pronouns, queer

Where does boi come from?

You may know boi from Dat Boi, a 2015 meme featuring a frog on a unicycle.

Know Your Meme

But, what about that time in the early 1990s, when Georgia rapper Antwan André Patton adopted the stage name Big Boi before going on to become one half of Outkast. This spelling of boi was in line with other street spellings, like in the 1991 film Boyz in the Hood.  Kind of like phat or thicc, deliberate slang misspellings. Boi is also likely a lexical middle finger to white people who insult adult black men by calling them boy …

In the mid-to-late 1990s, boi came to mean a more sensitive form of masculinity as it was taken up by skateboarding, rave, and, eventually emo scenes. Boi was also adopted by young women, some of whom identified as gay, in skateboarding. This helped boi spread in the 2000s for young, hip, genderqueer and trans individuals who presented as masculine. From here, boi moved into the the larger LGBTQ culture, adopted by young gay men, especially so-called “bottoms” or “subs” in the BDSM community.

The meme-ing of boi began in 2014 with a news broadcast screenshot of a “Wanted” photo. It featured a digitally added mustache and replaced the wanted person’s name with dat boi, or that boy. In 2015, a Tumblr user, Phalania, made a now-deleted but internet-famous post: “Here come dat boiO shit waddup!”

Know Your Meme

Meanwhile, an absurd late 1990s animation of a frog on a unicycle was creeping around in the caves of the internet. In April 2016, the phrase “here come dat boi” and that weird frog were brought together, in pure internet randomness and absurdity, on a Facebook meme page to create Dat Boi, which went massively viral—though it was also criticized as an appropriation of black and queer culture. 

Examples of boi

God accepts ALL genders! #genderfluid #lgbtq #genderqueer #boi #tomboy #boygirl #girlboy #genderdiversity
@all4godsword, May, 2016
Damn y’all a boi is crazy, can’t believe he’s trying to do this right now #FuckTrump #trumptext
@_CristainTeran, October, 2018
morning-train, Tumblr
There does seem to be a flexibility in gender roles that is refreshing: some bois date butches, some date femmes, some date other bois, some transition and use male pronouns, some remain female-identified. It’s become non-political in terms of feminism and homosexuality, but in terms of gender they seem to be filling the spectrum from male to female and bridging the gender gap.
PlainT, Queering the Nerd, September 2014
SEE MORE EXAMPLES

Who uses boi?

Big Boi continues to make music … Avril Lavigne celebrated her “Sk8r Boi” in one of the most popular songs of 2002.

Boi also remains a self-empowered self-identifier in genderqueer communities.

Memers never miss a chance to find new ways to insert boi into both new and existing memes, usually intending boi as a funny misspelling or in reference to the dat boi meme. Boi, in meme, has humorously come to stand for any person or object. 

Imgflip

Just Added

shelfie, ACAB, yeet, Karen, BIPOC

Note

This is not meant to be a formal definition of boi 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 boi that will help our users expand their word mastery.