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Kill bae

By Sinem Bilen-Onabanjo   |   11 February 2017   |   3:34 am

Can we kill “bae” already? Seriously, we are only two days away from the one day of the year so charged with expectations dedicated to one single emotion that it seems the perfect time.

If you’ve been hanging out with anyone below the age of 30 in the last few years, you’d have heard something along the lines of “Hanging out with bae” or “I am missing my bae”; in fact, if I put a pound aside every time I heard a similar utterance, I’d be laughing all the way to the bank this Valentine’s.

One of the runners-up in the Oxford Dictionary Word of the Year in 2014, “bae” is defined in the aforementioned dictionary as “a term of endearment for one’s romantic partner, this term probably has more currency in the USA than it does in UK” – unless of course you are a millennial, in which case, anyone from a boyfriend or a girlfriend, a lover, a crush or really anyone considered to be the most important person in another person’s life.


The term “bae” can be traced to as far back as 2003 from a user-submitted definition for it in the Urban Dictionary but it wasn’t until 2011 when someone tweeted that the term was an acronym which stood for “before anyone else” after which it quickly skyrocketed into an alternative babe or boo on social media. With perhaps less success, bae also began taking on a wider meaning, being used to label something as generally good or cool, as in “This song is bae.”

“Bae” made pop culture history in 2014 when Pharrell Williams released the song “Come Get It, Bae”. And from then on, it was an epidemic breaking out all across cyberspace. If you are looked in the deepest pits of Facebook or Instagram, you’d likely have come across, #BaeBeLike and #BAEcation captions.

What’s more, the joke is on us – did you know that “bae” is a Danish word for poop? Technically, each time we speak to or of our loved one, we are referring to them as a piece of excrement.

Frankly, I think we have reached – to use another millennial term – “peak” bae and it now needs to be retired out of our romantic vocabulary for good. Hence, please, this Valentine’s, please refrain from using “bae”. I believe we have plenty of beautiful words to refer to a significant other which will not make us ever have to reach for “bae” when we are reaching for bae again.




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