Is "Homie" Spelled Homie Or Homey? (Hint: It's Totally, Definitely, Absolutely Homie)

Damon Young
Damon Young

Yesterday, the homie (See how I spelled it there?) Samantha Irby posted a Facebook status where she shared a conversation she had with her copyeditor about a line in her new book. Samantha spelled homie "homie" (the right way), but her editor suggested that homey is the preferred spelling.


This spawned a debate on her page, with most (sane) people agreeing that homie is the proper spelling, while some (like Panama Jackson) prefer the shitty, terrible, and wrong version. (Learning this about Panama, by the way, was like learning that The Weeknd is only one person. I don't know what anything means anymore.)

Anyway, the debate about homie isn't even really a debate. It's like debating whether ice is cold or if Kappas take baths with windbreakers on. Still, for those who remain unswayed, the power of "homie" is in its integrity. Just look at how that word sits on the page, proud and steeped in a subtle ebullience, but not boastful. It's a word you'd invite to a Memorial Day cookout and introduce to your aunts. And, afterwards, your aunts would pull you aside to say nice things about it. You'd loan money to homie because you know homie is trustworthy and won't spend it on lukewarm gas station chicken and porn memberships. It exudes dignity, poise, and ingenuity. It's basically the Mahershala Ali of words.


Homey, on the other hand, is something someone on Stormfront would type when trying to imitate a Black person. The only notable homey in history is Homey the Clown, which is apropos because its a word for fucking clowns. If you saw homey walking across the street from you, you'd sneak up behind it and push it into a shrub. And the community would congratulate you for it, because they'd be sick and tired of homey breaking into their homes and stealing all of the straws. Homey is random, stupid, ugly, appropriating, base, and is probably having sex in a dimly-lit Port-a-Potty right now. People who prefer homey put ketchup in chicken soup. It's the linguistic equivalent of a 55-year-old Black man with no facial hair, and it's not to be trusted. Ultimately, it's every character Michael Beach played in the 90s.

(Also, homey is already a word! Which further proves that thieving-ass homey aint shit.)

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB, a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, and the author of What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker (Ecco/HarperCollins)

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While we are debating homie vs. homey. (i agree its homie (THE homie) and not homey (quaint & cozy)

Can we talk about how to correctly fold a fitted sheet? Or should I just throw it in the linen closet?