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Earliest known reference is in the 1946 tune by Ella Mae Morse and Freddie Slack, "The House of Blue Lights," when Morse improvises a spoken-word intro. Possible shortened form of homeboy. However, homie is also known as a variant spelling of Polari (early-to-mid 20th-century British English cant/slang popular among queer men) omi (man, bloke).



homie (plural homies)

  1. (African American Vernacular) Someone, particularly a friend or male acquaintance, from one's hometown.
  2. (African American Vernacular) A close friend or fellow member of a youth gang.
    Hey there, Francis, my homie!
    Yo, homie!
  3. (African American Vernacular) An inner-city youth.
  4. (Polari) Alternative spelling of omi (man)
    • 1977, Norton, Rictor, quoting Burton, Peter, The Gentle Art of Confounding Naffs, quoted in Myth of the Modern Homosexual, Bloomsbury Publishing, published 2016, →ISBN, page 115:
      As feely homies, when we launched ourselves onto the gay scene, polari was all the rage. We would zhoosh our riahs, powder our eeks, climb into our bona new drag, don our batts and troll off to some bona bijou bar.


  • (friend): homeboy, nigga, nigger (African American Vernacular English)
  • (friend): For semantic relationships of this sense, see friend in the Thesaurus.
  • (man): For semantic relationships of this sense, see man in the Thesaurus.