Slang dictionary shoulda [shoo duh] July 5, 2019 What does shoulda mean? Shoulda, woulda, coulda. Shoulda is simply a spelling of should have (or should’ve), based on a common, contracted, colloquial pronunciation of this modal verb phrase. Related words ignant, turnt, or nah, swalla, hell to the naw Where does shoulda come from? Cat Got Your Tongue? We might spell should have as such, but few of us actually pronounce it that way. The expression typically comes out sounding more like shoulda, hence the spelling. Gonna (“going to”) and wanna (“want to”) are other such examples, with the unstressed to also rendered as an a. Our bellybuttons shoulda jus been a button u press when u tryna die — sosa stan acc (@folowmeontwiter) December 6, 2018 Similarly, should have is also frequently (and questionably) rendered as should of. Imgur People have certainly been saying shoulda long before, but record of this colloquial spelling comes in the early 1900s. An early example appears in Collier’s magazine as the author’s way to reflect actual speech. Examples of shoulda Today was trash I shoulda stayed in bed @jr_lmao99, December 2018 After walking out on stage and saying, “I shoulda left that backstage,” Joe dove into a phenomeonal [sic] set talking about his response to some recent doctor’s advice, being mistaken for the wrong gender, and his favorite part of going to Disney World. The Interrobang, December 2018 Meme Maker SEE MORE EXAMPLES Who uses shoulda? Shoulda with the same sense as should have but is considered more informal or colloquial in writing. Damn, I shoulda been a cowboy — Wyatt McLellan🎩 (@McLellanWyatt) December 7, 2018 It’s commonly used to express some obligation, command, or regret, a favorite way of lyricists to begin a line. Can't wait for more "oh no I named my firstborn child Danaerys,"s tonight. Maybe ya shoulda waited for the series to finish ya dinguses — youth in asia (@kidd0OW) May 19, 2019 Toni Braxton, for instance, released “Love Shoulda Brought You Home” in 1992, followed shortly thereafter by Toby Keith’s hit song, “Should’ve Been a Cowboy,” popularly rendered with a shoulda. Know Your Meme Just Added Older Americans Month, Mental Health Awareness Month, Jewish American Heritage Month, Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Saluting Face emoji Note This is not meant to be a formal definition of shoulda 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 shoulda that will help our users expand their word mastery.