1

If bae stands for 'before anyone else', when somebody mention salt bae (Nusret Gokce-the meat guy), does it mean he is the one doing that salting move before anyone else?

4

As noted on KnowYourMeme, Nusret Gökçe became famous in 2017 after one of his Instagram posts, in which he slices a steak and sprinkles salt onto it down his forearm, went viral. Twitter user lolalissaa reposted another video of his with the hashtag #saltbae, which was then adopted by others.

As Jason B has noted, bae is slang for a romantic partner;

Your bae is someone you are romantically involved with or in love with. [informal]

as Collins puts it. It's almost certainly a derivation of babe or baby; before anyone else or beyond all else as sometimes attested have the distinct ring of a backronym. Certainly, before anyone else is not at all a common phrase, and it unlikely that anyone would have needed a shorter way to say it. Salt Bae therefore doesn't mean anything beyond a/my/the bae associated with salt, or the person who I wish was my bae because he dispenses salt in an attractive manner.

Plenty of people use hashtags like #boyfriend or #futurewife jokingly, to indicate an attraction to someone or to comment that something about them is attractive. It isn't surprising that the chef adopted this moniker: it's short, probably easier to pronounce than his real name for most people, and suggests that he is found attractive by the public, all valuable for marketing. Perhaps, given his nationality, it also serves as a play on bey.

  • Thank you for your answer and really interesting point on "bey". I didn't know that the pronunciation is very close to the word "bey' in Turkish. – Lily Oct 16 '18 at 19:43
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I was pleased to see that bae is now actually defined in some main dictionaries and that I don't need to resort to using a less definitive reference.

From Merriam-Webster:

US slang
: SWEETHEART, BABY · If you're in a relationship, you've probably already begun frantically searching the web for the perfect gift for your bae, but don't fret—I have you covered. —Amanda Fama

From Oxford:

US
informal

A person's boyfriend or girlfriend (often as a form of address)

‘I'm going to see my bae’
[as name] ‘Bae just made me tacos’
‘what's wrong, bae?’

Origin
Early 21st century: abbreviation of baby or babe.

These dictionaries trace its origin back baby or babe (as per the Oxford link) and not to before anyone else—even though that does seem to be something that has since been ascribed to it.

Regardless, it's still an affectionate slang term, and it isn't meant to be used as a replacement for before anyone else in normal language use.

(I have never heard salt bae before, so I cannot comment on that specific instance.)

  • It has also crossed the atlantic, and is in use by young people in the UK – James K Jul 6 '18 at 6:40

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