Shawty / shorty

Neal Whitman nwhitman at AMERITECH.NET
Fri Apr 23 17:33:20 UTC 2010

New to me: I was looking up the lyrics for songs that had hit #1 on the
Billboard Hot 100 in the past few years, and had a "twice is queer" moment
when I read the second set of lyrics that contained the word "shawty" as,
apparently, a term of direct address. Since then I've seen it again and
again in the hip-hop songs, especially in those about going to a club, being
turned on by a woman dancing "out on the floor", and offering to spend lots
of money on her (spending lots of "guap"), including buying her drinks
(which one doesn't drink, but is "sippin' (on)"). (There are quite a few
songs about this particular combination.) Sometimes it's spelled "shorty."

Here's what I think is the best definition on Urban Dictionary:
2. shawty 2109 up, 604 down
A term orginating in Atlanta that, in the beginning, referred to a short
person or child, but the span of the word has grown to include any and all
people, especially a girl that is attractive; it is mostly used as a term of
endearment to others or just a way of addressing someone, like 'Wassup Man,'
Instead of "Man", shawty is used.
NOTE: Can be shortened to "shawt" or "shawtdawg".
"Waddup Shawty, when you coming over?"
by twintron4 Jun 3, 2004

(There's a 2009 thread labeled "shawty", but it doesn't seem to be relevant:

Neal Whitman
Email: nwhitman at

The American Dialect Society -

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