What is a ‘thot’? What does it mean and where did it come from?

A purple background with the words 'Be gone thot' in white writing over the top.

Have you ever heard the word “thot” and wondered what its meaning is or where it comes from?

If you’ve ever been on the internet, you might have seen the term “thot” thrown about in memes, in a tweet or even as a thirsty Instagram comment.

But have you ever thought about what (or who) a “thot” is?

As the “thot” memes continue to roll across the internet, it’s time to learn what “thot” means and whether we should be using it on our selfies.

Where did “thot” come from?

“Thot” (which rhymes with knot) started life as an acronym for terms like “that hoe over there” and “thirsty hoes out there”.

The term first appeared on Urban Dictionary in 2012, with some people using the term after hip-hop artist Chief Keef reportedly said “thot” on the set of one of his music videos.

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The use of “thot” peaked in 2014, but is making a slow and steady comeback on sites including Twitter and Reddit.

Many hip-hop artists and rappers have since used the term in their music, helping to popularise it on social media.

The 2017 song “Thot” by Uncle Murda features lyrics that describe how the singer used to love a woman until he discovered she was a “thot”.

The song includes: “God damn, I used to like you / That pussy was tight too / Can’t believe I almost wifed you / Found out you was a thot too / What you gotta be a thot for.”

What is the meaning of thew word “thot”?

Though it’s not a word likely to be added to the Oxford English Dictionary any time soon, the meaning of “thot” is typically a woman who enjoys having sex and her rights to her own body.

Home of internet slang Urban Dictionary defines a “thot” as a cheap woman who apparently doesn’t deserve respect.

The most popular definition on the site reads: “A woman who pretends to be the type of valuable female commodity who rightfully earns male commitment—until the man discovers that she’s just a cheap imitation of a “good girl” who is good only for mindless sex, not relationships or respect.”


As we can see from that definition, “thot” is misogynistic slang, similar to a slut or golddigger.

Of course, there are a lot of double standards with the term, with men shaming women for having sex with them.

“Thot” itself is not a gendered term, but like slut, is overwhelmingly used towards women as a way of shaming them for their sexual behaviour.

Related: Bye, Felicia: What is Bye Felicia and where did it come from?

“Thot be gone” is often used as an insult towards self-assured women, particularly those with self-confidence, who are often known as ‘insta thots.’

Many Facebook groups have popped up in recent years to identify potential ‘thotties’ and prevent men from interacting with them.

These groups are used by trolls to harass women and mock them to hundreds of thousands of followers, often with the aim of chasing the women off social media.

So-called ‘thot patrols’ allegedly report the social media profiles of women en masse in order to have their profiles removed

Why should we think about using thot?

This isn’t to say that no-one should say “thot”.

Many controversial words have been taken back and reclaimed by the people the words have been used against.

Slut has been reclaimed by many women who have been sexually assaulted in the form of ‘slut walks,’ large protests where women often march in the clothes they were assaulted in.

Many LGBQT+ people use queer to identify themselves, despite the term’s homophobic history.

Women using “thot” as an Instagram caption on a particularly fire selfie is in a different league from predatory men targeting confident women on social media.

Calling someone else a thot is probably misogynistic, but if you’re calling yourself a “thot”, then “thot” away.

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