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What is a fuckboy? Here’s everything you need to know

By Harriet Piercy

Dec 2, 2020

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Dear future selves, past selves and now selves, this is a gentle reminder that, well, fuckboys really are out there, and they’re sneaking around your peripherals waiting to pounce on your vulnerable side. They’re legit, even spell check’s red squiggly line doesn’t deny a fuckboy’s existence. A myth no more, unpack your torches and get ready to shine a light on every damn fuckboy (or fuckboi) you have or will inevitably fall for. So, what exactly is a fuckboy, and how did they get such a bad rep?

Typically, a fuckboy is a straight man who generally pisses our seemingly unaware emotional spheres off, but it is important to note that it doesn’t have to be a straight man—anyone can act in the same way too. There is no anecdote to falling victim to one of these trappers, but a word of wisdom to start off with; a sense of humour goes a long way. A fuckboy can’t just be a name we call someone who hurts us by simply not falling back for us. That being said, the term fuckboy didn’t come into the world without reason.

What does being a fuckboy mean?

By definition, a fuckboy is someone who doesn’t respect women but simultaneously relies on them heavily. In other words, a codependent narcissist. They reek of entitlement. They’re distant, which at the start might seem alluring and mysterious, but over time you’ll quickly realise that they aren’t trying to be, they literally don’t care about other people’s time, and won’t commit to anything but their own watch. They’re self-absorbed, and do a lot of stupid things. Emotions? What emotions? Up until they get lonely… then they’ll have just the right bit of self-conscious nonsense to get you out of yours and into their bed. Don’t expect a chat in the morning, they’ll become unusually busy and frantic about their to-do plans the next day.

Where did the term fuckboy come from?

There are actually multiple evolutionary histories leading back to where the term came from, and a fuckboy also seems to play different roles in various communities, which ironically makes it difficult to find a consistent and stable source. However, the term fuckboy came into popular use through hip-hop, which overlaps heavily with black culture. The term stemmed from there until very recently.

Fuckboys only really became internationally labelled around 2016 when the term peaked in Google Trends. Earlier than that though, Cam’ron used it in the chorus of his 2002 song ‘Boy, Boy’, referring to a man that was a faker.

Fuckboys are also mentioned in the 2014 Run the Jewels song ‘Oh My Darling Don’t Cry’. In an interview with Under the Radar, Killer Mike was asked about the meaning of the word in that song. He said “Fuckboys just do all the shit you can’t believe at the time. You know, the cops pull you over and ask if anyone has marijuana in the car. That one friend who says, ‘Yes officer I do’, he’s the fuckboy in that situation.” But if you’re reading this and think ‘phew, I’d have said no’ hold up, you can still be a fuckboy if you lie to a cop.

To be called a fuckboy is obviously an insult, and insults don’t necessarily have some deeper meaning, they’re just there to shut someone up, real quick.

Spotting fuckboys in the wild

The funny guys who kindly offer to pay for half your Uber home. When you ask to see him again, their response is: ‘let’s stay in touch’. Also, a puddle of fuckboys often mingle with the writers, the musicians, the artists—the silent, broody, 100 per cent going to fuck up your life stereotypes. Fuckboys are also incapable of accepting any responsibility for their actions, so expect to be ghosted if you call them out on it.

Fuckboys like having options, and I’m really not saying this is an all round bad thing, but, sometimes it’s a power thing, they don’t want to choose one because that deletes the option of having options. Now, to round off, if your philosophical heart has been broken by one of these so-called fuckboys, I’ll ask you one more thing: did you really have to reply to that third flake apology text? Your life is already waiting for you babe, don’t make it wait too long—but also, steer clear of simps.