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Bro is a colloquial term of address used for any person, primarily males, that began as an abbreviated form of the word "brother." In addition to its usage as a friendly label, the term can be also used as a prefix to associate any activity with stereotypical frat boy or guido subcultures.



The word "Bro" originated as an abbreviation for the word “brother,” the title given to male siblings[1], not to be mistaken for the Catholic definition[2] of the term. The shortened version of “bro” appeared as early as the 1660s[3] in The History of the Parliament: The House of Commons 1690-1715[21] to denote brotherly relationships between members of Parliament.

John Clargis, farrier, of Drury Lane, Westminister by Anne Leaver. educ. G. Inn 1662; Wadham Oxf. matric. 1689. m. 29 Sept. 1646, Mary, da. of George Proctor, yeoman, of Norwell Woodhouse, Notts. and coh. to her bro. Edward, 18.

In 1912[4], people began using “brother” as a slang term in the United States to address one's close friends, which became further popularized after it was adopted by the African American community in the early 1970s. Similarly, the Hawaiian Pidgin English word “brah”[5] was brought into colloquial usage by American surfers as early as in the 1960s. Prior to its colloquial usage online, “bro” has been referenced in numerous films, TV shows[7][8] and video games[9] during the 1990s and 2000s. The Los Angeles Times[10] also used “bro” in an article published in November 2000, to describe George Bush’s participation in the fraternity Delta Kappa Epsilon during his time at Yale.


The first definition of “bro” was added to Urban Dictionary[6] on January 24th, 2003 and at least 200 definitions[22] have been since submitted to the site. On the online artist community DeviantArt, searching for "bro" yields more than 200,000 results of artworks[11], many of them relating to Andrew Hussie's webcomic series Homestuck. There is also a FAIL Blog[12] site dedicated to featuring image macros and funny photos under the category of "Bros." Male fans of the popular animated series My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic often refer to each other as a "brony", a portmanteau of "bro" and "pony." The term was also popularized through other internet slang phrases like "Cool Story, Bro" and "Come At Me, Bro" in the late 2000s.


Usage as a Prefix

As internet slang, "bro" is commonly used as a prefix (Bro-) placed before other words to describe an activity between two close male friends. These portmanteau terms were collected on message boards as early as September 2006.[31] Approximately two years later, bro fist began on 4chan to describe a common greeting involving two friends bumping fists. An ASCII-based copypasta often appeared on the image board as well as other forums to represent a virtual fist bump. The My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic fandom has transformed this greeting into the brohoof, using hooves instead of a fist to denote they are a fan of the show.


Bro Subculture

While "bro" is typically used as a word for close friends, it can also be used to describe stereotypical "alpha males," an idea popularized by the men's culture site Bro Bible[27], created on April 15th, 2008. That month, the single topic blog Bro.cabulary[32] appeared to collect terms that should be used with bros to help fit in with the group. Later in 2008, online culture magazine The Bygone Bureau[30] published a slightly satirical look at the personality and fashion traits of men who fall into this category, defining them by their love of polo shirts, cheap beer, and gelled hair.

In 2010, Surfworld compiled the Broism Dictionary[28] to define bro-related terms. Also in 2010, TIME[29] shared a photo set entitled "A Brief History of Bro Culture" which looked at historical figures including Latin poet Ovid and English monarch Henry VIII who would have fallen into the contemporary definition of "bro." In April of that year, a single topic blog called My Life is Bro.[20] was created, poking fun at this lifestyle in a manner similar to the site FMyLife. Most of the submissions use the common traits of being sexist or lazy purposely to an extreme for a humorous effect.

Today I got dome from this bitch in an elevator. It was chill on so many levels. #253289 Comments : 3 Chill (3772) Not Chill (154) Favorite this.
@mylifeisbro My Life is Bro My girl told me I was insensitive and should see things from a women's point of view, so i looked out the kitchen window. MLIB 1 hour ago via Facebook ☆ Favorte ti Retweet Reply

Bro Fist

Bro Fist is a series of image macros and ASCII-based copypasta often used on imageboards and forums as a virtual fist bump, a popular method of male-to-male greeting that conveys mutual respect for the participating bros. While the act of fist-bumping itself has become a common practice through TV shows and films, the legitimacy of "Bro Fist" as an internet meme remains debatable, as it has been criticized by some as a forced meme or spam.

place fist here, bro. BROFIST


Bromance[13] is a close non-sexual relationship between two (or more) men in the homosocial[14] nature. It was first used by Dave Carnie, the editor of skate magazine Big Brother, in the 1990s.[15] He used the term to define the sort of relationships that develop between skaters who spent a great deal of time together. Bromance was discussed in 2008 by Australian newspaper the Age.[16] In 2010, relationship blog Nandoism[17] posted an article about when a bromance is turning into a gay relationship.

True Bromance BROMANCE For real men only IORNH AS CHEEZBURGER,OOM

The term was brought into the mainstream in 2008[24] to describe the relationship of the lead characters in the sitcom Scrubs[23], J.D. Dorian (portrayed by Zach Braff) and Christopher Turk (portrayed by Donald Faison). The following year, the Boston Globe[24] and entertainment site Starpulse[25] compiled lists of televisions most well-known bromances. There is also a TV Tropes[26] page for the term.

Cool Story, Bro

"Cool Story, Bro" is a catchphrase expression often seen in image macros as a sarcastic response on message boards or in comments to posts that are deemed boring, pointless or too long to read.


Don't Tase Me, Bro!

"Don't Tase Me, Bro!" is a catchphrase taken from a video of University of Florida student Andrew Meyer getting tasered by a security personnel after being forcibly removed from an open Q & A session with U.S. Senator John Kerry.

DONT TASE ME, BRO! It makes you shocked with the taser.

I Told You About The Stairs, Bro

"I Told You About Stairs" is a catchphrase from the webcomic series "Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff" written and drawn by MS Paint Adventures creator Andrew Hussie. The comic has become an in-joke within the Homestuck fandom and has been the subject of numerous parody videos and fan arts.

SWEET BRO AND HELLA JEFF NTS I WARNED YoU ABOUT STAIRS UCK IM FALLING DOWN ALL THESE i cant wait to be a useless p------------ all day and play all these games \ IT KEEPS HAPPENING TOLD YOU MAN I TOLD you T STAIRS!

Come At Me, Bro!

"Come at me bro" is a confrontational catchphrase used to instigate a fight with another person. It's typically used to convey that one will not physically initiate fight, but is willing to fight if the situation arises. In image macro form, the text is overlaid on an picture where the subject is making an aggressive posture, usually with arms spread out to each side.

come at me bro


Brotips[18] is a single topic blog that features image macros meant to provide help in various social situations, ranging from how to solve a problem or make good choices from the perspective of a bro. Brotips contains over 1700 image macros as of April 2012. Various brotips are often reposted on Tumblr[19] and Twitter through the hashtag #brotips.

brotip#1754 disliking someone does not make you a hater speaking ábout it all the time, even when nobody asks you about it, makes you a hater brotip#9 man the f--- up.


Curlbro is a pejorative slang term referring to gym-goers that focus on training their arms when weight lifting. It is often used on 4chan’s /fit/ (fitness) board and the BodyBuilding Forums to stress the importance of compound exercises and leg training or to mock those who perform curl exercises in the squat rack. Curlbros are often associated with the Jersey Shore “guido” stereotype along with steroid use and excessive tanning.

Anatomy of a curlbro. (aka: stop idolizing this a------) The the dude's 6'0 tall and a buck fifty here. You don't need anymore reasons Protip: If you find your abs protruding past your -chest, perhaps it's time to reevaluate your program. Big shoulders mean a commanding presence on the screen. And now you know why you like this physique. Go do your presses. Rocking the T-rex forearms. Legs? F--- you. I'm Brad Pitt, that's why

I Know That Feel Bro

"I Know That Feel Bro” (also known as "to uczucie" or "to uczócie") is an expression and reaction image depicting two bald men embracing each other accompanied by a caption that reads “I know that feel bro.” The phrase is a poorly translated version of “I know how you feel, bro” or “I feel you, bro,” that is typically used to show sympathy toward others. The face has been used as an exploitable character and is often seen in "that feel when" threads on image boards, which describe an emotional situation or event.


Reality Hits You Hard, Bro

Reality Hits You Hard, Bro is a catchphrase stemming from a viral video of an interview with George Lindell, an Arizona man who was rear-ended on September 15th, 2011. The video was later autotuned by the Gregory Brothers. His enthusiastic response, similar to that of Antoine Dodson, has inspired a number of parody and remix videos.


Search Interest

External References

[1] Wikipedia – Siblings

[2] Wikipedia – Religious Brother

[3] Online Etymology Dictionary – Bro

[4] Online Etymology Dictionary – Brother

[5] Urban Dictionary – Brah

[6] Urban Dictionary – Bro

[7] IMDb – The Lonesome Cow-Bro

[8] IMDb – Bro-Jack

[9] IGN – Yo' Bro!

[10] LA Times – The Bro I Can't Vote For

[11] DeviantArt – Bro

[12] Bros.Failblog

[13] Wikipedia – Bromance

[14] Wikipedia – Homosociality

[15] The Age – A Grand Bromance

[16] The Age – A Fine Bromance

[17] Nandoism via Wayback Machine – Signs Your Bromance is Gay on the Down Low

[18] Brotips

[19] Tumblr – Tagged: 'brotips'

[20] MyLifeIsBro

[21] The House of Commons – Usage of "bro"

[22] Urban Dictionary – Results for "bro"

[23] Wikipedia – Scrubs

[24] People – Scrubs Costar To Miss Bromance with Zach Braff

[24] The Boston Globe – A look at big 'bromances' on the small screen

[25] Starpulse via Wayback Machine – Can You Smell The Bromance?

[26] TV Tropes – Bromance

[27] BroBible – Home

[28] Surfworld – Broism Dictionary (Broken Link)

[29] TIME – A Brief History of Bro Culture

[30] The Bygone Bureau via Wayback Machine – A Crash Course in Bro Culture

[31] North American Subaru Impreza Owners Club – adding the word "bro" to normal words

[32] Bro.cabulary – Brocab. Get yer Learn on…

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