Redbone Meaning Slang

Redbone is an intriguing term often used in African American slang. It is a term that has been thrown around a lot in recent times, but what exactly is the meaning of Redbone slang? It’s a term that can be a bit confusing to understand, but once you understand its context, it is relatively easy to understand the meaning behind the term. In this article, we will explore the origin and use of the term “Redbone” in African American slang.

The Origin of Redbone Slang:

The term “Redbone” originates from the Southern United States, particularly Louisiana. It referred to people of mixed racial descent, especially those of European, Native American, and African descent. People with this racial mix were often referred to as “Redbones,” a term that was originally used in a derogatory way. However, over the years, this term has been reclaimed as a label of pride by those of mixed heritage.

Over time, the term “Redbone” began to take on more figurative meanings. In urban slang, it began to be used to describe people with light skin tones, and bone structure mixed with high cheekbones and prominent noses. The term is often used as a compliment to describe someone as attractive or good-looking. For instance, men might say, “That Redbone over there is fine,” or “I love me a Redbone girl.” It’s important to note that the use of this term should be avoided if it causes any offense, as with any slang term.

Redbone Slang in Popular Culture:

The term has been used in popular culture for quite some time. The most prominent example is in the song “Redbone” by Childish Gambino. The song was released in November 2016 and quickly rose to popularity, reaching No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100. The lyrics of the song mention the term “Redbone” several times, tying it to the singer’s romantic attraction to a woman. The song’s popularity ensured the term “Redbone” became even more widely used in slang among young Black Americans.

In Beyonce’s lyrics for the song “Formation,” she praises her daughter’s light skin by saying, “I like my baby hair, with baby hair and afros. I like my negro nose with Jackson Five nostrils. Earned all this money, but they never take the country out me. I got a hot sauce in my bag, swag…You mix that Negro (with that Creole) make a Texas bama.” This line celebrates a light-skinned girl, with a Negro nose and Creole features, which implies this person would be considered “Redbone.”

What Does “Redbone” Mean Today?

Today, “Redbone” slang is widely used in Black American culture. It is used to describe people who are of mixed heritage, with a lighter skin tone, often with European, Native American, and African descent. However, the term is no longer used in a derogatory way, but rather as a term of endearment or admiration.

In urban and pop cultures, it is often used to describe attractive people with light skin tones and sharp bone structure, particularly on social media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok. In African American slang, it is used to describe a person’s skin tone and physical features, but this is often coupled with other physical descriptors, such as “tall,” “short,” “skinny,” “thick,” or “curvy.”

The term has evolved over time, and it is now acceptable to use “Redbone” slang, as long as it is not meant to cause offence or harm people of mixed heritage. However, it’s important to note that slang terms tend to change meaning according to the context it is being used. Hence, the meaning of the “Redbone” slang term might change over time, so it’s important to keep up with the latest trends and understand the context in which it is being used.


In conclusion, the term “Redbone” slang is widely used in Black American culture, primarily to describe people of mixed heritage with light skin tones and sharp bone structure. Initially, the term was derogatory, but over the years, it has been reclaimed to be a label of pride. Today, it signifies admirable beauty and physical characteristics. Its widespread use in pop culture and its connection to African American culture has made it a popular slang term that has become exalted rather than insulting. It’s essential to understand its history and context to use it correctly without offending people of mixed heritage.