Sunday, April 19, 2015

Comments About The Word "Bae" From A YouTube Discussion Thread About Pharrell's "Come Get It Bae" Record

Edited by Azizi Powell

This is Part III of a three part series on the English slang word "bae". This post quotes selected comments from the discussion thread of Pharrell Williams' 2014 Pop song entitled "Come Get It Bae". The video of that Pop song is also included in this post.

Part I provides my definition of the word "bae" as well as online excerpts from an article and comments about that word. Click for that post. Click for that post.

Part II of this post provides another excerpt of an article about the word "bae" as well as comments from that article. Click for that post.

The content of this post is presented for cultural and etymological reasons.
I'm most interested in the general topic of how the English language has changed and continues to change because of its incorporation of slang in general and African American slang, in particular.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post. Thanks also to Pharrell Williams and others featured in that video and thanks to the publisher of that video on YouTube.

FEATURED VIDEO: Pharrell Williams - Come Get It Bae

PharrellWilliamsVEVO, Published on Jul 23, 2014

These selected comments about the word "bae" are representative of those in that discussion thread but aren't meant to be the only such comments in that thread. I've presented these comments in relative chronological order with the oldest comments given first. However, these comments may not be in consecutive order.

Numbers have been assigned to these comments for referencing purposes only.

Note that this video's discussion thread contains a number of comments that include profanity, homophobic language, and/or sexually explicit references. Those example aren't quoted in this post.

1. Super C 3 months ago
"Can we please leave the term "Bae" in 2014? It's stupid, overused, not funny and simply does not make any sence."

2. Mark Miller 3 months ago
"Bae Is A word Now It is Created By the American Main Stream Slang It's Definition Is 'Before Anyone Else' To Those Of You Who Didnt Understand It is Also slang For 'Babe'"

[Editor: These next two comments were posted in response to a statement that "bae" is Danish for "poop"]
3. Mangatamoon 3 months ago
"But the song isn't Danish
Did you know that pain is bread in French?"

4. Crystal Productions 3 months ago
"Did you know I'm not taking a danish or a french class? Im good."

5. iRok Note3 3 months ago
"Whenever a new "slang" becomes mainstream and I hear the so-called "purist" vent and blast off about how that slang should die off and how "not-so English" it is, I laugh till my ribs hurt.

WHAT IS LANGUAGE?: the method of human communication, either spoken or written, consisting of the use of words in a structured and CONVENTIONAL way.

Ask yourself this common sense question - HOW WAS LANGUAGE DEVELOPED - The masses largely create language. Do you have any idea the percentage of words recognized by the academia that came out of the masses ...?

And for those saying "Bae" means poop in Danish .. so what? ... do you know what most English and medical words sound like in Ashanti, Mandarin, Ibo languages etc. which we used to make fun off back in high school?

Call up any ethnic individual, they will always find a word in English or from another language that sounds horrible/ weird in their mother tongue. GET OVER YOURSELVES.
Language was not created by Kings and Queens. It was created by Apes, Adam and Eve or some Anthropod... what ever belief rocks your boat.

My point is ... WE THE MASSES CREATE LANGUAGE ... not your high and mighty tight-up "Oxford Dictionary mentality"

FYI - Oxford Dictionary like many others is responsible for over 100 new words added to the English dictionary every year that was BORROWED from the streets and other languages."

6. A Ria 2 months ago
"If you're complaining about the word "bae" and say the English language is dying I'm guessing you have never used "babe" or "baby" to refer to your significant other so just stop"

7. Jessica Licis 1 month ago
[Editor: This was written in response to a comment from Fraser which I didn’t find.]
""Oh, Fraser, Fraser, Fraser... I know you posted this comment three months ago. I know it's probably pointless to respond at this point. But, I just have to try. Bae, Fraser, is a shortened version of Baby. Perhaps, in your homogenized, sterilized world this word is not used. But, to the rest of us... Yes, Fraser, Bae is in fact a word. I tell you this as someone who is a native English speaker. Just a thought, take it or leave it, you know what they say about opinions... (Or perhaps, on second thought, you don't. Opinions are like assholes, Fraser, everyone has one.) You may want to work on not displaying your ignorance so freely. Gotta tell you, Fraser, you also sound a little racist. (No, no, no, let me guess, some of your best friends are black...?) Just something to think about."

8. Evan Terry 1 month ago
"Babe is a slang word too so don't know why everyone is fussing over Bae, a lot of words we use in English aren't even proper or used in the correct way, but we still use them anyway... It's not the end of the world if someone uses the word (Bae), now it doesn't mean I don't think the word is overused, but you don't hear me complaining, it's nice to hear people using words that aren't meant for offensive, sexist, racist etc... purposes"

9. channelingStephanie 1 month ago
"Why are people so upset about the word "bae?" Languages evolve, that's what American English is doing now. A person from the 1800's would be appalled at how we speak today, saying the exact thing people have been saying in the comments, "Learn proper English!" I find it interesting how our languages are evolving to fit more into our lifestyles and express what we like."

10. BrankoP85 4 weeks ago
"What is this bae [profanity deleted]?? I hear it everywhere...Seriously, just stop saying bae..Its [profanity deleted] annoying!!"

11. B Nagy 3 weeks ago
"Bæ/bae is a Danish word for poop. Also used by people on the internet who think it means baby, sweetie etc."

12. Teagan Farmer 3 weeks ago
"come get it bae come get it babe lol i like this song"

13. Rachel Victoria 3 weeks ago
"It's annoying how people keep saying this [that bae means poop in Danish] when the song isn't even in danish??"

matthew felkins 2 weeks ago
"Bae is danish for poop so the title is "Come Get It Poop""

SisiaVogel 2 weeks ago
"yes, it means poop in danish, but who cares if there's an identical word that means something else in another language? kiss means pee in swedish, gift means poison in german. nobody's whining like "omg!!! stop using kiss it means pee in swedish!!!!" nobody gives a [profanity deleted] what it means in another language. when you're speaking english, you're using the meaning it has in english. when you're speaking danish, you can use the meaning it has in danish.

also, bae is a word, whether you like it or not. languages change and evolve over time.
your most used word was also "stupid teenager slang" just a few decades ago, and yet with time it became so used and known that it was assimilated by the english language. your grandkids will probably affectionately call their best friends or lovers "bae" without knowing the context in which this word evolved, just how you have always used the word "gross" to mean something that is revolting, disgusting, without knowing that it is slang and that its original meaning was "large", and that's okay because that's how words [profanity deleted] work.

and don't say "but it's not in the dictionary!!" all words weren't in the dictionary until they became widespread enough to be included in it. languages aren't dictionaries, languages are people. we decide what are and aren't words, we control language. we write dictionaries. and who, specifically, "creates" new words? the youth. teenagers. all the common words you use today exist because teenagers once upon a time - decades, centuries ago - started using them while freely talking to their friends.

and that's okay. that's how languages work. languages are just sounds and grunts that we associate with signs and letters. we created this. we control this. dictionaries and textbooks are there to help us better know the language we speak and to better communicate with each other, but in the end we control language by simply speaking.

in closing,im sorry this is so long, but i've seen people saying these things so often that it's annoying me. and also excuse my english cause im not a native speaker.

and chill bruh."

This concludes Part III of this series.

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  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, gedesagus yudistira.

      Sometimes comments in YouTube video discussion threads are gems because they are well written and/or because they include anecdotal information or other interesting opinions/facts.

      Unfortunately, you often have to wade through the muck to find those gems. And YouTube comments that are culturally interesting are document for future consideration and reference if those comments aren't republished elsewhere.

  2. By the way, the sentence "chill bruh" that ends the last comment I quoted means "Chill out [cool out, relax, don't get overheated], brother - with "brother" referring to a male and not a sibling, and necessarily a Black man.

  3. Also, it occurs to me that Pharrell Williams' song title "Come Get It Bae" is similar to the title of Rick James' 1981 record "Give It To Me Baby".