What Does Bae Mean? – The Word Counter (2024)

This is what bae means, and how you can use it in your daily life. It’s a new word in the world, and using it right can help make sure that you are up to date in modern slang trends.

What Does Bae Mean? – The Word Counter (1)

What Does Bae Mean?

The word bae has become a nickname for one’s boyfriend, girlfriend, or significant other. It’s an affectionate term used to describe someone you love.

Another much less common use of the word bae is the Danish word for poop. While most English speakers won’t be aware of that, it’s still important to take note of who is hearing you speak. Depending on their native language, they may interpret it much differently than how it was intended.

Another way that bae can be used is as the word “bye” in Icelandic. Both of these alternate language meanings have very different meanings compared to bae in English slang, which is something that many people have noticed comedically.

History of the Word Bae

A common theory of bae’s origin is that it replaced the word “babe.” Babe itself is a shortened version of baby, but bae makes it even shorter and easier to say. This is a theory that is largely supported by the highly recognized academic linguist Neal Whitman.

While they do look and sound very similar, the origin of bae actually has another popular source. Bae is an acronym for the phrase “before any others” or “before anyone else.” It originated on the internet in the 2000s, just like many other acronyms, including GLHF, LOL, and YMMV. However, due to its verbal similarities to other common words, bae is typically pronounced instead of spelled out like other acronyms.

While the word bae may seem like a simple footnote of linguistics history, it actually has a few notable historical aspects.

In 2014, bae was a runner-up for the Oxford Dictionary word of the year. This surprised many people, and it definitely has not held up its level of popularity and usability since then. However, it is still highly recognized by people of all age groups, and the Oxford Dictionary is a large contributor to that.

Who Uses the Word Bae?

If you don’t know the word bae, that’s okay — it’s mostly used by young adults, teens, and millennials on the popular social media platform Twitter, as well as others like Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat.

Bae reached its most widespread usage in the mid- to late-2010s, with many tweets using it to describe users’ spouses, significant others, and occasionally even pets.

Due to its modern origins, the word bae has shown up in many rap songs and lyrics. Its short pronunciation has made it easy to say at high speeds, which makes it convenient for rap.

Backlash Against the Word Bae

While bae was a commonly loved and used word once, it has since received some backlash as an appropriation of urban youth culture.

In an attempt to be more relatable to younger audiences, large brands like Dennys and Wendys started to tweet and make memes using the word bae. This was largely seen as disingenuous by the populations that they were trying to court.

Since the mid to late 2010s, the word bae has been used more infrequently by people of all age groups. New uses of the term in popular culture are fairly rare unless they are comical or satirical. While verbal uses can’t always be identified, online uses are virtually nonexistent.

How to Use the Word Bae

Although bae is no longer a popular term, you may wonder how to correctly use it in a sentence. Here are some example sentences to help you understand how to use bae in the real world.

  • I’ve been hanging out with my bae for the past couple of weeks, and it’s been going great!
  • This pizza is bae.
  • How are you doing, bae?
  • I’ve been out at the mini-golf course with bae for the past few hours, and life is great.
  • I’ve been watching this TV show for the past couple of weeks, and let me tell you, that main character is my new bae.

Along with a lot of other words created during the internet age, bae can be used in a wide array of forms, including as a noun, adjective, or even verb.

Recent linguistic scholarly research defines the word bae as slang, which is a type of language that typically doesn’t have many grammar or language rules.

Because of this, you can use bae in any form, as long as your meaning comes across clearly. Alternatively, feel free to interchange other romantically affectionate words like sweetie, darling, or honey with the word bae.


  1. What Does “Bae” Mean, And Are You Using It Correctly? | Bustle
  2. Vape Beats Out Bae and Normcore to Become Oxford Dictionaries’ 2014 Word of the Year | NY Mag
  3. Denny’s | Twitter

What Does Bae Mean? – The Word Counter (2)

Kevin Miller is a growth marketer with an extensive background in Search Engine Optimization, paid acquisition and email marketing. He is also an online editor and writer based out of Los Angeles, CA. He studied at Georgetown University, worked at Google and became infatuated with English Grammar and for years has been diving into the language, demystifying the do's and don'ts for all who share the same passion! He can be found online here.

What Does Bae Mean? – The Word Counter (2024)


What is the real meaning of bae? ›

The term originated as an abbreviation of the word baby or babe. It has been suggested that the term originated as an acronym for "before anyone else," but this is unlikely; this false etymology is probably an example of a backronym.

What is a bae stand for? ›

Bae,” for example, is a term of endearment that is either short for “baby” or an acronym for “before anyone else.

What does bae mean code? ›

BAE stands for Before Anyone Else is a slang term used to refer to a person's romantic partner, boyfriend, girlfriend or spouse. However, it can be used to refer to the most important person in a person's life. It is a shortened version (abbreviation) of 'baby' or 'babe'.

What is a bae in urban dictionary? ›

“Bae,” Urban Dictionary says, is an acronym that stands for “before anyone else,” or a shortened version of baby or babe, another word for sweetie, and, mostly unrelated, poop in Danish.

Why do girls use bae? ›

BAE is an abbreviation for baby or babe. BAE refers to a person's significant other. It can be used as a term or endearment or as an adjective.

What is another word for bae? ›

In fact, the Merriam-Webster definition of bae says “sweetheart” and “baby” are synonyms of the term, so if either of those nicknames feels accurate for the person you're thinking of, bae could also work.

Can you say "bae" to a friend? ›

BAE is a slang term that is short for "Before Anyone Else." It is often used to refer to someone who is very important to you, such as a romantic partner, a close friend, or a family member. The term is often used in social media posts and text messages to show affection for the person in question.

Do people still say "bae"? ›

3. Bae - My bae, your bae, you are bae. Bae is a pretty controversial millennial word that even some millennials hate, but it's still in use. Bae is used to refer to a significant other or good friend to show your infatuation with someone.

What does bae mean in Gen Z? ›

Bae. Bae, which means “before anyone else,” was a popular pet name many Gen Zers and Millenials used for their significant others. However, Gen Alpha says that endearing term is a no-go.

Who owns bae? ›

Corporate governance. BAE Systems Inc. is fully owned by BAE Systems plc. Jerry DeMuro replaced Linda Hudson as appointed Chief Operating Officer, BAE Systems plc, and President and CEO of BAE Systems Inc.

What is an example of bae? ›

someone you love; a boyfriend or girlfriend: It's bad when bae doesn't reply to your texts. [ as form of address ] Hey, bae. What's up?

What's the difference between Babe and bae? ›

“Bae” stands for “before anyone else” whereas “babe” is an affectionate term implying that the person is attractive, or “a babe.” “Babe” tends to be used more between people who are dating because it is so affectionate, but it can also be used with close friends (usually female friends). “Bae” is more general.

What is a babe slang? ›

/beɪb/ 1(slang) a word used to address a young woman, or your wife, husband, or lover, usually expressing affection but sometimes considered offensive if used by a man to a woman he does not know What are you doing tonight, babe?

Does bae mean lover? ›

"BAE" is an acronym that stands for "Before Anyone Else." It is often used in the context of a close romantic relationship to refer to one's significant other or partner. It's a term of endearment used to express affection and that the person is the most important and cherished individual in the speaker's life.

Does anyone still say bae? ›

Six out of 10 (59%) surveyed said they were annoyed by slang. The word "bae," used as a term of endearment or labeling something as good or cool, was the 10th most popular word, but also the most annoying one.

Does bae mean crush? ›

Bae is an acronym that's typically used to refer to: a boyfriend/girlfriend. a spouse. a lover. a crush.

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