Babygirl

Meaning

What does Babygirl mean?

Babygirl is a popular term of affection, originally reserved for girls only, as a phrase of endearment. It could be used romantically, as well as in a friendly and a parental manner, however, its main profile was always the romantic one.

Over time, however, the expression has turned into something entirely different. While the Asian Baby Girl phenomenon had already exploited a sort of pejorative sense to the term, “Babygirl” was turned into a frequently memed expression in the 2020s, expanding its uses to men and fictional characters, in a condescending manner. Somehow, “Babygirl” also became closely associated with Pedro Pascal Memes, donning the moniker to the internet’s newfound favorite actor.

It also became a meme that inspired the creation of several other formats, including the Why Does X Call You Babygirl? and the Draw Your Babygirl in This exploitable templates.

babygirl

Origin

What's the origin of Babygirl?

The term “Babygirl” originates from Black and Latin American communities, adopted by the wider masses from African American Vernacular English in the 1990s, during the rise of hip-hop and R&B music.

By the 2000s, the expression was widely embraced across the United States, as a term of affection for women. Although some people consider “Babygirl” to be a truly romantic expression of affection, others see it as a mere attempt at flaunting one’s Rizz, with no sincere intents behind the whole thing.

Before turning into a popular meme at the turn of the 2020s, “Babygirl” briefly went viral with a video of YouTube user magmaflower, titled “My Video for Briona”, in which a boy professes his love for the girl in the title, calling her “Babygirl” several times.

One of the earliest instances of the term “Babygirl” being used for men can be traced back to a 2017 Wattpad post, made by aradmille, modifying a panel of the “Mob Psycho 100” manga, adding in the question “why does serizawa call you babygirl?”, marking the beginning of the Why Does X Call You Babygirl? exploitable meme.

Spread & Usage

How did Babygirl spread?

The Mob Psycho 100″ edit went viral on Tumblr and Twitter in August 2021, spawning countless reiterations and artistic rendtitions, depicting various – mostly male – fictional characters asking one another why they are being called “Babygirl.”

babygirl

This spurred the trend of calling men “Babygirl”, with even tweets such as the one @SkylarShark posted on August 23rd, 2021, encouraging the term to be “gender neutral.”

In October 2022, the “Babygirl” hype didn’t die down, as a newer meme format was conceived on Twitter, called the Draw Your Babygirl in This. The template was based on a stock photo of a man on all forms, performing CPR. This post, shared by @noahdeaart, inspired countless fanart creations of fictional male characters in the said position.

bybgarl

Over time, new positions were also added to the template, however the “Babygirl” meme has moved on in 2023, turning toward real life examples for the term. Image macros were being shared across Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook, identifying K-Pop stars, as well as Pedro Pascal as an idal example for a male “Babygirl.”

Overall, “Babygirl” is a beautiful example, of how the meanings and uses of a word can be changed and reinterpreted over a short amount of time.

Hi Buddy! I'm the DigitalCultures Lab professor. Is there anything else you want to know? I'll answer immediately 🤓
 

External resources

More interesting stuff