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Batty boy

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Bati boy (batty bwoy), bati man, pariss, chi chi man, chiefe, booty boy and gay boy are pejorative sexual slurs used in Jamaica and the rest of the West Indies to describe homosexual men. The term is a Jamaican abbreviation of the word bottom into batty; "batty boy" is a cognate of the American English "butt boy". Usage is commonplace in some Caribbean cultures where homosexuality is condemned, partially as a result of mainly conservative Christian as well as Rastafarian beliefs (mainly in Jamaica).[1]

Many Jamaican musicians have used the term to disparage homosexual men. In one notorious song, "Boom Bye Bye", dancehall musician Buju Banton advocates violence against "batty boys", including shooting them in the head and setting them on fire:

Boom bye bye, in a batty bwoy head,
Rude boy nah promote no nasty man, dem hafi dead.[2]

The term was brought to the United Kingdom by post-World-War-II Jamaican immigrants and is now popular, along with other variations, e.g. Bum Boy, Shirtlifter and Arse-Bandit, among homophobic Britons. The term was further popularised in the United Kingdom by the rise of British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen and his portrayal of the character Ali G.[3] Ali G however referred to the alternative spelling: bhatti boy.

Recently, some gay men in these areas have begun referring to themselves as "batty boys" or "battymen", in order to reclaim the term and remove the stigma associated with it. This is similar to the way that the term "queer" is being reclaimed in the United States. For this reason, in some cultures batty can be used as a simple description of sexual orientation much like the word "gay", or it can be used to be degrading.


  1. The Most Homophobic Place on Earth? - TIME
  2. ► Boom Bye Bye - Banton Buju song lyrics ♪
  3. HBO: Ali G - Glossary

Template:Guyana-stub Template:Caribbean-stub

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