Slanguistics: Strictly for My People

labels are flying everywhere these days, be careful

Now listen up UvT nation, I know most of y’all are with Us, but there’s a few of you out there, I won’t name names, who still kinda ride with Them from time to time. And with the coming administration, the opportunities abound for any number of slip-ups with regards to down-ness and the like — stuff like my ‘Nillas out there using the N word. AHNT. So as a public service, and in order to help prevent any more faux pas, I’ve put together a little packet on the varying degrees of formality with which one addresses his people.

My Dogg:
Conveys the highest degree of affection, often heard several drinks into a late night between guys who aren’t getting laid: “this guy right here? this is my dogg!” Also used to convey feeling of affection towards somebody whom the speaker does not know but wishes he does: “You see the way Garnett screamed at the camera? That’s my dogg.”

Quoth Jay-Z: sensitive thugs, they all need hugs.

My Dude:
Used almost exclusively in person-to-person interactions, and generally used to convey affection or a comrade-like mutual respect. Often used as a greeting: “what up, my dude.”

My Boy:
Used when speaking with a third person to describe a close friend or associate. often in confirming a mutual acquaintance: “you know Roger too? yeah, that’s my boy.”
(variants include: my homie). ed note: careful with this one.

My Man:
Generally used to convey a cool, at times chilly distance. Often used with derision, or to diffuse an escalating fight: “check out my man over there in the funny hat.” or “my man, you need to show these ladies a little more respect.”
(variants include: money and homeboy, both used sans “my”)

My Guy:

Wee-Bey, Chris, what do you guys think about that?

guaranteed, Wee-Bey addressed Chris as "my dude" when he walked up.

Damn, that bad? Let’s check angle 2:

Ok, Got it. My guy is out.

My Brother:
Used almost exclusively by frat boys (who will also hit you with that “bro”), white people talking to blacks, North Africans, and dudes involved in the sale of falafel. Expect to see an uptick during the Obama presidency.

ed note. (oh boy, here we go).
a nation of brothers

Now considering that some of you might have trouble grasping some of these concepts, I’ve put together a little chart to help make things clear:

Will Smith and Tom Cruise take us through the full repertoire.

For advanced usage, strictly between the bruh’s, please see Aaron Magruder’s Black Jesus:


Though historically used in a positive light [see: American Gangster], “my man” has slipped in usage over the past decade or so. Remember, language is fluid. Your mileage may vary.