Redbone Slang Meaning

Redbone Slang Meaning: A Comprehensive Guide

Redbone is an intriguing term that has been used in popular culture for many years. In the context of today’s cultural climate, the term is receiving more attention than ever. Despite this increase in popularity, many people are still unsure about what the word actually means. In this article, we will explore the history and meaning of the term “redbone,” as well as its use in popular culture today.

History of Redbone

The term “redbone” has been used in the United States since at least the early 19th century. At its core, the word referred to people of mixed Black and Native American ancestry. Its origins can be traced to the French word “sang-mêlé,” which means “mixed blood.” Over time, the term evolved to describe a specific type of mixed-race person, one with light skin, curly hair, and distinct facial features.

Redbone people have a unique history in the United States. They have been present since before the country was founded, and their story is tied to some of the most significant events in American history. For example, many Redbone people fought in the American Revolution and the Civil War. They have also faced significant discrimination throughout their history. In recent years, some members of the Redbone community have reclaimed the term as a point of pride and celebration of their cultural heritage.

Modern Usage of Redbone

Today, the term “redbone” is used in a variety of contexts. It has often been used as a slang term for a woman who is attractive and lightskinned. It has also been used to describe a type of hunting dog that is popular in the southern United States.

Another way in which the term “redbone” has entered popular culture is through music. The Redbone song “Come and Get Your Love” was a hit in the 1970s and has remained popular ever since. More recently, the term was used as the title of a popular song by Childish Gambino.

The Meanings of Redbone Slang

As previously mentioned, the term “redbone” has a few different meanings in contemporary usage. One of the most common definitions refers to an attractive light-skinned woman. This usage is found primarily in African American communities, where the term serves as a compliment to a woman’s appearance. It can also be used as a term of endearment between friends.

In some cases, “redbone” can also refer to a person’s complexion or skin tone. It is often used to describe someone who has fair skin and a distinct reddish or coppery tint to their complexion. This usage is sometimes seen as offensive, especially when used to describe Black or mixed-race individuals.

In the context of hunting or working dogs, “redbone” refers to a specific breed of coonhound. These dogs are known for their distinctive reddish-brown coloration and excellent hunting skills. The breed has become popular in the southern United States, where they are commonly used for raccoon hunting.

The Controversy Surrounding Redbone

Despite the various meanings of “redbone” and its use in popular culture, the term has also been the subject of controversy. Some critics argue that the term is problematic and indicative of colorism within Black communities. They argue that the term reinforces the idea that light skin is inherently more desirable than dark skin and contributes to a culture of discrimination within the Black community.

Others argue that the term “redbone” is simply a cultural shorthand with a long history of use that has taken on different meanings over time. They argue that the term has become a way to celebrate a specific type of beauty and cultural heritage, rather than being used to reinforce harmful stereotypes.


Despite the controversy surrounding it, the term “redbone” is a deeply ingrained part of American popular culture. Its history is tied to the intersection of Black and Native American communities, and it has evolved over time to take on multiple meanings. Whether it’s used as a compliment, a descriptor, or the name of a hunting dog, the term “redbone” is an important part of America’s cultural tapestry. As with any slang term, it’s essential to be aware of the nuances and meanings behind it to ensure we’re using it in appropriate and respectful ways.