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Bae: What Does it Mean, Where Did it Come From, and How to Find One

Definition of "Bae"

Every generation comes up with their own slang in addition to recycling slang from years prior. The Millennials and Gen Z's are no different. With social media, slang is no longer allocated to one particular region across the states, or the world, slang is widespread, and some terms are even unique to the internet as if it was its own country.

One of these terms hasn't been around for too long but has caught on pretty quickly: "bae". Whether it’s capitalized "BAE", "bae", or "Bae", it’s all the same. Bae is bae and will always be bae.

Many people, mostly olds (old people), are confused as to what it means, and for a minute, I was too.

I figured it was an acronym, and my intuition was on point here; it stands for "before anyone else".

Makes sense, as it’s always used affectionately or appreciatively. For example, one might say that Hulu is bae or Amazon’s free two-day shipping is bae to indicate that these services are highly valued.

Your boyfriend/girlfriend is bae. Hailee Lautenbach is bae. Blake Lively is totally bae material. Math is not-bae, and never will be bae. Taxes and slow wifi are not bae. You catch my drift?

For me, rain is bae, and so is sushi. If you like something/someone to the point where you'd be virtually lost without it/them, then it’s bae.

For some shower sex might be bae, while it might be the furthest thing from bae for others. If you're still curious to know exactly what is bae; your crush is bae, and will be totally bae if you get together. The Bay Area is referred to people who live there and love it. It could also be referred to as The Bae Area because of all the hot and exciting individuals who live there (who are also bae). If you have a bae in The Bay, then it’s definitely the Bae Area. Once you know what bae means, you’ll quickly discover who/what you consider being "before anything else".

"Boo" has been taken over by "bae", and for good reason. "Boo" could only be applied to a person and a person you were dating or had a thing for. Bae, on the other hand, can be attached to many things and serves a wider use than "boo" ever could.

"Boo" just wasn’t bae enough to survive the '90s and early '00s.

A closer look at "Bae"

"Bae" is a term being thrown around a lot these days, but what exactly does bae mean? It seemed to have been born through social media, which is how memes and slang alike spread like it never has before.

Twitter was most likely the origin of the term, as it seems most phrases or slang these days come from the social media powerhouse. I first saw it used on Twitter and was immediately confused as to what it meant.

In typical Twitter form, I had the answer in moments: "before anyone else". Hmm, seems like a new version of "boo" or something, and I like it.

"Bae" (spelled as "Bae", "bae", or even "BAE") probably is just a new phrase that came up rather than an improvement on a previous one, but "bae" is definitely better than "boo." However, "Boo" doesn’t cut it for me, but "bae" sure does.

So, I discovered what "bae" stands for, but what does it really mean? Well, it has a definitive meaning, but I think it can be different things for each person.

For the most part, "bae" is reserved for the person you’re dating or want to date, but it can be used in a less affectionate way, of course. People will say, "You’re a genius!" but it doesn’t mean you’re a genius.

Same thing for "bae".

Many people think of their boyfriend or girlfriend as "bae", while some consider Netflix to be "bae" numero uno. A friend who does you a huge favor in clutch time is worthy of the title as well.

"Bae" can be that meal you’ve been waiting all day to sink your teeth into afterlife threw you a few curve balls that hit you right in the gentleman’s area. "Bae" can be the arthritic old woman who kindly let you pull out in front of her so you could make it to work on time.

Whoever/whatever pleases you at a given time can be "bae". It seems to be a pretty versatile word, and thus can potentially be a word that only gets a limited amount of airtime before it’s dropped from our vocabularies.

"Boo" is a limited term. It would be weird if you referred to your favorite food as "your boo". It just doesn't sound right. "Bae" is a term without limits, plus you don't have to preface it with the word "the". This is probably why it spread so fast, with the help of social media, and took the place that the term "boo" once held.

If "bae" was thought up 20 years ago, it might not have caught on, as the internet was just in its fledgling days and social media wasn’t really a thing. If it did catch on, it could have potentially lasted longer than it will today.

In present day we tend to give trends or slang the spotlight for only a short amount of time until the public loses interest or gets overexposed to the stimuli, and move on to the next viral thing.

For all we know, "bae" won’t be used by anyone in six months. I’ll put my money on it lasting for a bit more than that.

"Bae" is just one of those words that sound good, is understood by many, and is put into heavy use by young people throughout the nation; who knows how long before it’s used in other countries, if it’s not globetrotting as we speak.

"Sick" and "dude" have lasted a few generations and will always be around. "Bae" will join the ranks soon enough, just wait and see.



How to meet bae

So, we now we know what "bae" means. Its primary function is to serve a similar purpose to "boo" and can be used to describe one’s girlfriend or boyfriend.

If you are single, your bae for the moment may be pizza, sleep, or your newest celebrity crush. The only thing is, that won’t satisfy your craving for attention and love.

There will be a time where you need a real bae and get sick of using your cat as a replacement for a date. Sure, your cat never does any lasting damage to your psyche, but it doesn’t complete your soul in the same way that a bae ever could.

Well, where are you going to go to meet bae? And, what kind of bae are you looking for? You should have a sort of checklist in mind for what might constitute being bae for you at this present time in your life.

Are you looking for a bae just for the night? Or are you looking for a bae who wants something serious?

I wish there were a Build-A-Bae store. However, Westworld has yet to become a reality. So androids can't really be expected quite yet.

Finding a bae isn’t easy; some people make it seem like it is, but finding the right bae for you can take some time. It may take a few attempts, but overall your experiences will make you a better bae for the bae that you'll end up spending the rest of your life with.

Of course, that doesn’t mean just grab the nearest person and hope they’re bae, because they probably won’t be the right kind of bae material you're looking for.

Let’s say you’re looking for a short-term bae: the best place to pick up someone like this is at a party or a rowdy bar. This person is likely to be bae for at least a night - if not a few. If you have a good time together and feel comfortable with them and are attracted to them, then that’s your bae.

If that’s not your cup of tea, or if you're looking for a long-term Bae, then you’ll have to take a closer look at the people you flirt with. It’s certainly possible to meet a long term bae the same way as mentioned above but that's not always the case.

One way to find a suitable bae is to enlist your friends. They have your best interest in mind, so it's likely they can find someone who is well-suited for you. Or better yet, maybe they have a friend that might be a good match! If they're friends with your buddy, then it's likely you will get along as well!

This is a good route to go since you will get a few insights into the person and know they’re not some Creepy McCreeperson. You may consider one of your friends to be bae, but one of their friends can be even bae-er, so it’s worth a shot!

If your friends don’t know anyone you’d date, poke around your classes or office for any single ladies/guys. You'll see them often which gives you a lot of time to make a great impression. However, I would stick to finding someone who doesn't work in your company. Romance and work often don't mix well.

Let's be honest, meeting bae is very unlikely to be a quick and painless process, but you shouldn’t feel discouraged or lose confidence if you don’t succeed right off the bat.

Roll your shoulders back and take a chance! Talk to that cute girl in your accounting class! Strike up a conversation with that handsome guy that works in a neighboring office. Buy that cute coffeehouse regular a cup of coffee. The more you put yourself out there, the more likely you'll be to find bae.