In this movie two brothers are talking on the phone:

— Yo
— Hey, Isaiah. Hey, are you going to pick me up, man?
— You all right? What happened?
— Man, just some skinheads tripping, man.
— All right, I'll be there as soon as I can, all right? Taking care of some business for Armand.
— Look man, I really need to speak to you, man, for real. I got some sh** to run by you.
— Hey, I'm on my way, all right? One.

[ Urban Justice (2007, Don E. FauntLeRoy) ]

Does that one mean anything outside of this context, is it based on the idiom at one as in in a state of agreement/united in thought or feeling? Or is that more along the lines of see you in a minute but literally one minute? Is it like "copy" or "over" on "military radio", or a binary exit status of some kind inspired by an IT metaphor, is it the equivalent of ok, is it a figure of speech, making the issue be the only one thing on his mind (an exaggeration), just pure styling, or something else?

In so many words is it a phrase, what is it related to and what does it mean?

  • 1
    What are the missing "[...]" lines? What was the sentence after the last sentence quoted? According to Urban Dictionary, one can mean "goodbye". I believe it, but I don't think I've ever heard that before.
    – Em.
    Jun 28, 2017 at 4:46
  • 1
    "One" in this context means goodbye. It was a kind a hopeful parting originally, comin from a Rastafarian meanin of One Love. The peaceful drained away somewhat, and it just means Later now, I think. I still hear it from elder musicians from time to time. I can't imagine it being used appropriately in a Steven Seagal film, though. Jun 28, 2017 at 4:47
  • It's difficult for me to hear what exactly the character says at the end of that line, and it's not important to the story, so I would have mostly ignored it. The rest of the dialogue seems reasonably accurate, at least by Hollywood standards, so I assume it was written by someone familiar with the dialect, and who had heard "one" used as slang for "goodbye". As with all slang the use is probably limited to a particular group at a particular time -- it wasn't so long ago this same character would have ended with "Peace out!" or just "Peace!" So I wouldn't attach too much significance to it.
    – Andrew
    Jun 28, 2017 at 6:23
  • Can I use it in an email?
    – TimR
    Jun 28, 2017 at 11:44
  • 1
    Yes, I think so. Originally, the parting wish One which partook of the sentiment of Marley's song, conveyed to the listener the hope that she, and everyone, would eventually be "at one" with each other in the uniting spirit of Ras Tafari or "Jah". This is not an uncommon parting wish; cf. Vaya Con Dios, and Allah Ma'ak (usually spoken only to other Muslims, but in the same vein at least.) Jun 28, 2017 at 23:47

1 Answer 1


According to Urban Dictionary, one means goodbye:


  • "Goodbye"
    Shortened form of "One Love"
    "I'm out, 1"
  • Can be used as 'goodbye' or 'later'.
    Short for "One Love"
    Joe: "see ya tomorrow"
    Nikki: "one."

It makes sense, especially if the speaker hangs up right after.

  • 2
    Thank you! I should have checked Urban D. but I'm not always in the mood for the sexist and/or prejudiced material I end up finding there. But the answer was there indeed.
    – user16335
    Jun 28, 2017 at 16:24

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