Death To The Word “THOT”

January 14, 2014 ‐ By

I feel like I’m always talking about how I cringe when I hear people– men specifically– using the word “female” in certain contexts. I’ve talked about it in MadameNoire’s editorial meetings, I whine and grip about it to my sister when I hear spewed in public. And I even had to correct my teenage cousin over the holidays when he used it. To clarify, I don’t hate the word female absolutely. I’m well aware that there are times when it’s appropriate like “female inventor” or “female poet” or something because poets and inventors are assumed to be human. But if you’re using female in the place of woman, it’s a problem. Because a female can be any species of animal. Calling a woman a female is dehumanizing and often, used derogatorily. Like, “These females be [insert some foul behavior here.]”

But apparently, I may be fighting the wrong battle because there’s an even more derogatory and dehumanizing word–a slang phrase–used on various social media sites. The word, or acronym rather is THOT. Perhaps you’ve seen it. It means “That hoe over there” or “Those hoes or there.” And while it’s not new in terms of pop culture, unfortunately it’s still running rampant. There are memes, vines, a sea of tweets and clever pictures.

The term originated from the Chicago rapper/prophet that is Chief Keef. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Chief Keef, please know that was severe sarcasm. Please look him up. I’m not saying he’s a complete lost cause because he’s still young. But from what I’ve seen, he hasn’t really put his redeemable qualities on display.

Anyway, as you may imagine the term was originally used to describe sexually promiscuous women. Of course that’s problematic and misogynistic because, once again, women are being punished for being sexually expressive while men, who behave similarly, are given a pass and a pat on the back.

In fact, the term came to my mind again today when I was looking at the Juicy J scholarship story. When I learned that, according to Juicy J, that twerking wasn’t a requirement, though it was called a “twerking scholarship,” I went to search for the actual rules. Sure enough twerking was not listed as a requirement. And I saw a tweet that read, “Juicy J knows thots don’t read.”

Instead of Juicy J laughing at his deviousness or just giving Zaire the money because she truly deserved it, Juicy J took the opportunity to scold the women who actually submitted twerk videos for his review.

Fifty thousand dollars is a lot of money and I don’t want to waste it on just some girl twerking her ass. You don’t deserve it…See that’s what you get for shaking your ass and thinking you were gone get some money. It’s not always about shaking your ass.”

Really, Juicy? How hypocritical is that? Sure, there’s more to women and students than twerking but how many years have you been suggesting that that’s what women should do and do for you specifically? How many years have you been suggesting that almost exclusively? Let me help you, long enough for college aged women to think that’s all you’d want from them, long enough for them to know that, according to your music, you do reward women monetarily for shaking their ass. You glorify the behavior in your songs but women who twerk in real life– or outside of the strip club– are to be reprimanded? There’s a better breakdown on the wrongness and hypocrisy of all this on the Crunk Feminist Collective. 

But even worse is that terms like these, that are initially supposed to be applied to loose, grown women, ultimately end up trickling down to the innocent. The term has been applied to two year old babies and little girls for laugh, kicks and giggles. Not unlike The Onion calling Quevenzhané the c word. It’s gotten out of hand. And I don’t want you to think that men are the only ones using it. A quick Twitter search, will show you that the term is used equally between men and women, white, black and everyone in between.

It’s played, wack and discriminatory. And if you don’t believe so, ask yourself what is the male equivalent of a THOT?


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  • Nyomi

    Omg i hate the word THOT. I see it being used all the time on Twitter by people. Im glad someone made a article about this.

  • KamJos

    I’m getting very concerned that this generation is sowing seeds of incredible misogyny and colorism and whatever is going to be reaped 25 years from now is not going to be good. I’m really concerned with future Black generations. Crap like this needs to stop for Blacks to have any chance of not being a permanent underclass in American society.

  • writingmomma46

    When a woman, lady or young girl learn to respect herself, when in the presence of a man, young man or a boy and not allow her character to be portrayed as anything but a respectful person, then she will receive the respect she deserves. When you “dropping it like it’s hot” or “twerking it like there’s no backbone in it,” or “giving up the milk, because the cow is not worth buying,” (I’m keeping it clean yall), you will see girls called everything under the sun. Yes, there are those women and young ladies, that don’t allow ourselves to be treated like anything but women and young ladies. We carry ourselves as such and we respect our bounderies. We also don’t allow anyone to cross them either. Oh yes, there is a name for that too, (feminist).The men, young men and boys that use the term “thot” know exactly who to use the term on. There must be something in her character that makes her be called this. Do I like the term, of course not! But, I don’t like a lot of “words” I have heard women, girls and young ladies called, especially the female dog. Yet, some women, ladies and girls think that’s a endearing term. WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!

  • Guest

    I been seeing memes about thots on Facebook, like pics thot clothes (hoodie, leggins, Ugg boots) thot drinks (Bud Lite Strawberitas), even Michael Jackson (brrr thot thot thot thot, brrr thot) and that word is as annoying. I was even on the bus like couple of weeks ago and these teenage boys was calling this woman who was in her mid 20s and had 2 kids with her a thot and she SNAPPED on them saying their mothers were a thot because they boys probably don’t know who their daddy is. This word needs to die along with twerk.

  • me

    I must be aging out of social media cause … I have never seen this. Ever.

  • soisaid

    never heard of that “slang” until i read this article… go figure!

  • MarriedMomOf2

    That word “thot” is just as annoying as the word “twerk”. Even my 17 year old niece got into a fight with a boy at school because he called her and her friend a thot for no reason and they’re not hoes at all and both are on the National Honors Society does community service in senior living facilities after school. He apologized to her and her friend for using that word on them. I agree with Raven that this word is an abuse of the American English language and grammar. Just have had it with thot!

    • Kristen

      Our society keeps making up words, terms and phrases that degrade, never uplift. Glad the boy apologized but what’s the point in being disrespectful in the first place?

  • The Heartbreak Kid

    THOT is a dumb word. My favorite terms from back in the day were “skeezers” and “scutters” lol

    • Ms. Kameria

      My personal favorite is smut.

  • Kristen

    I hate it when people say “females” in the wrong context as well. You never hear men saying “males”. It’s “n*ggaz and females”. Is that really what we have come to? Is that what we now refer to each others as? How come we can’t address each other as ladies and gentlemen? Men and women? It’s disrespectful.

    Same goes for “thot”. It’s a shame how these losers like Chief Keef have so much influence in our society. Then people look at you sideways when you demand respect. We already are disrespected in society, why should we disrespect each other TOO?? I’m so tired of this catching on so quickly. Why are Black women having to demand respect from Black men and other Black women? This is an unnecessary battle. It’s impossible for us to stick together.

  • taz

    I hate the word thot and I really cringe when I hear grown able bodied adults say Ho out loud. People always throw the word around online but when men and woman say it ou tload repeatedly it’s just vulgar and kinda childish to talk like that.

  • Tonyoardee

    So y’all aren’t females?

    • Kristen

      The word for a female human/person is a woman or lady. Have you never taken a science course ever in your life? Or even an English course to know that you’re saying “female” as an adjective and not a noun?

      • Tonyoardee

        Yes, I’ve taken organic chemistry 2x, microbiology, and biochemistry

        • Kristen

          Then you SHOULD KNOW that the word female goes just beyond humans. If you’re talking about a female human then what’s so hard about calling her a woman? For whatever reason we drop that respect for one another and in normal conversation call us by our anatomy. People who say “I was talking to this female…” a female WHAT?! A female plant, a female panda, a female WHAT? That’s the difference between a noun and an adjective. Do you say “I was hanging with this male…”? There’s no noun in that sentence.

      • Tonyoardee

        Do you not secrete estrogen and progesterone as a result of your follicle stimulating hormone? Does this not make you female?

        • Kristen

          When you address a woman simply as “female” that’s basically what you’re saying. You’re addressing her as a being that “secretes estrogen and progesterone as a result of follicle stimulating hormones” without addressing her as a HUMAN BEING. I believe you know this, you just choose to be disrespectful.

  • enlightenment

    So is this article about your disdain for the word thot or Juicy J’s hypocritical scholarship?

    Because I thought “Juicy knows thots don’t read” was a pretty funny statement!

  • Courtney Banks

    I hate it the most because it’s an ACRONYM not a word, people use it grammatical incorrect.. I.e. She’s a THOT…. which translates to “She’s a that hoe over there”… It drives me insane.

  • kickash

    my brothers use that term so much but unfortunately once that goes out of style it will just be replaced by another stupid term. also thanks for bringing up the overuse of “females” i thought i was the only one annoyed by that.

  • Leah Robinson

    Im so sick of this phrase! It just sounds dumb.

  • FromUR2UB

    Well, I’m glad it played out before I heard it and had a chance to get tired of it. Now, if only people would retire, “Have a seat”, “Have several seats”, ” _”, and “Keeping it real”. Pull the plug and let them die with dignity, and then bury ‘em!.

    • enlightenment

      Lol I kinda like “_”!

    • Kristen

      What’s wrong with “keeping it real”?

  • Taneesha Culture Clash Thomas

    How u gonna have a twerking scholarship contest & scold women for twerking for it??? Is that insane only to me…what a focking hypocrite!

  • Princess A.V.

    a boy thot is a thottie :/

    • IMJSANYUmad

      wrong, no such thing ho

    • Tonyoardee

      Guys can’t be THOTS

    • PINKYY

      I thought thottie, was preteens

  • DaisyDuke

    I thought it was just a Twitter thing, until I was on the train one day and heard two people (a man and a woman) using it in conversation (and they were quite loud too).

    Man: “You’re friend is a thot. I’m sorry but she is”
    Woman: “I know, and that’s why I don’t f***s with her anymore. I don’t f****s with thots.”

    That was my first time hearing it said out loud and not reading it on Twitter. It looks stupid on Twitter, but it also sounds phonetically stupid.

  • guest

    What about ratchet, hoodrat, why single out thot.

    • misss

      ratchet actually comes from someone pronouncing the real word wretched incorrectly.

  • Reatha

    I never even heard of that word..

    • Yoli

      Me neither and I have never seen it in writing except for people complaining about it. I’m thankful I haven’t been exposed to this very much because it sounds so dumb.

    • Kristen

      I’ve only really seen it on Twitter. At first I thought it was a shorter version of the word “thought” but I was wrong!!

    • MarriedMomOf2

      It’s all over Facebook, Instagram and other social media.

    • Me+One

      I just found out what it meant about 3 days ago. I’ve always been slow to slang…don’t see that changing anytime soon.

  • Raven

    The thing that really drives me up the wall about “thot” is that people continue to use it in the wrong context. It is blatant abuse of the American English language and grammar rules. Thot is singular… when people say “thots” IT MAKES NO SENSE! That hoe over theres???

    • Trisha_B

      Lmao thank you!! The word is dumb b/c its not used in the correct form. When people say “those thots…” images of my phone flying across the room pop up in my head lol

      • misss


    • Chey

      I wish I could like this 2000x’s!!! Makes no sense at all!!

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