What is a ‘Hey Mamas Lesbian’? Everything you need to know about the TikTok term

You’re lying in bed, scrolling through TikTok, and find a video talking about “Hey Mamas Lesbians.” Is that what you are and what does it even mean?

TikTok may be a haven for LGBTQ+ people, offering them the ability to share information and ask questions of one another in a comforting and open environment. But it can also offer up a lot of terms and slang words that you’ve never come across before.

That’s where we come in.

So, what does ‘Hey Mamas Lesbian’ mean?

This is a phrase used to refer to a lesbian who typically dresses in a masculine manner and might say the phrase “hey mamas” to attract other lesbians.

In one TikTok video, featuring two lesbians explaining terms to each other, one said: “It’s a masculine lesbian with an undercut, a top bun, wears a sports bra, and picks up girls by saying: ‘Hey mama’.”

The other responded, “So, a 90s lesbian?”

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She might be right, because the aesthetic of the 90s lesbian and queer community is similar to the aesthetics attributed to a ‘Hey Mamas’ lesbian.

This seems to be corroborated by an Instagram account dedicated to detailing “the butch dyke aesthetics, rocked by girl-band members and pop stars of the 90s”, which features “a kind of tomboyishness that was a commercial product of third-wave feminism and 90s ladette culture cleaned up for young girls” and the aesthetic of “denim and leather, utility gear, dungarees, cargo pants, massive boots, vests and cropped hair, with some glitter and diamanté thrown in for good measure”.

Where does the term come from?

It actually originated on TikTok, to describe a particular group of lesbian creators active on the app in 2020. Specifically, videos showed a group of (mainly white) lesbians who vent viral for a video of them saying: “Hey mamas” in a flirty manner.

Many of them are still making videos to this day but the original video has been deleted despite gaining thousands of views while it was on the app.

There are many videos on TikTok explaining the term or showing off the aesthetic of a hey mamas lesbian, which usually includes specific hairstyles – often an undercut or a top bun – and accessory choices such as a Nike sports bra or chunky chain necklaces.

Why is the term controversial and how is it different to a butch lesbian?

The reason the term originated and went viral on TikTok in the first place is because of its cringe factor, so it’s not controversial as such. But it has evolved as a derogatory way to describe lesbians, many of them white, who are considered embarrassing on the app and in real life.


#duet with @brendanisugly Heard I Been Suminned Or Sum WitchCraft Shiii🤣🤣🥱😈💯💦💀💀💀 Wasguuuuud😴 #heymamas #righthere #fmon3y #indahouse

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Videos still available on TikTok usually explore the term in a mocking tone, particularly in how awkward and weird it would be for someone to hit on you by saying: “Hey mama.”

Want more lesbian terminology articles? We’ve got you covered:

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What does ‘Gold Star Lesbian’ mean, and is it offensive?

What is a ‘Hey Mamas Lesbian’ on TikTok?

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The fascinating history of the lesbian slang terms ‘stud’ and ‘stem’

What, exactly, is a gender non-conforming (GNC) lesbian?

What are moon and sun lesbians?

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