DOLO – Meaning, Origin and Usage

Friday night, and you have plans for a great evening. The new movie is playing with good reviews, the bar has a special deal going on, and your friends all said they could join you! But after calling all your friends, things didn’t pan out. They’ve all had something unexpected come up and can no longer hang out.

Guess it is time to go “dolo”! This rather interesting phrase is perfect for use in this context.

This post unpacks the meaning and origin of this expression.

Meaning

The word “dolo” is really just another way of saying “solo”. This phrase is most often used in text or instant messaging. Whether you are going solo, or getting things done solo, “dolo” is another word you can use in these scenarios.

“Dolo” is a relatively easy-to-understand slang word once you get around the odd spelling. According to some, “dolo” is a mixture of the phrase “solo-dolo” which is a way of doing something alone but in a more relaxed and happy way rather than feeling sad or defeated about being alone. It signifies that it’s alright to do things by yourself sometimes.

Another definition of “dolo” is to do something “on the down-low”, or to do something secretly. You can easily tell that “down-low” is shortened to “dolo”.

Example Usage

“Guess I’ll be flying dolo tonight!”

“I don’t need anybody! I can do it solo-dolo!”

“Sometimes it’s good to be dolo. It helps you think about stuff”.

“It’s fun to be in a group, but don’t do it dolo”.

“You were going dolo? Nah, let me join you! ”

“I am not into drama, so you are going to have to go dolo on that buddy!”

Origin

As stated above, “dolo” most likely originated from combining two commonly used words into a new vernacular word. First appearing as Black slang from the 1990s, “dolo” became popular for combining “down low” and that it is just fun to say. From then the word slowly became more popular as time went on to the point where a clothing brand titled Dolo appeared. The idea of the Dolo brand is to embrace solidarity and express yourself.

Phrases Similar to DOLO

  • YOLO: Acronym for “You Only Live Once”.
    • I took the last soda because YOLO.
  • Dolski: Another way of saying “dolo”.
    • All alone tonight. I’m going dolski to the club.
  • Lazz: Word that means “to be a loner”.
    • Who, Mike? Yeah, he’s a lazz. Leave him be.

Phrases Opposite to DOLO

  • Rolling deep: Phrase for when you have a lot of friends or crew members when going around.
    • Yo he be rolling deep with all those loyal buddies.
  • Hobnob: To spend time with friends and enjoy each other’s company.
    • I’m going to hobnob with my buddies this weekend.
  • Bros: Close male friends.
    • Yo, the bros and I are going out. Wanna come along?

What is The Correct Saying?

  • Dolo – Solo

Ways People May Incorrectly Say DOLO

“Dolo” is a pretty easy-to-understand word but some might still have trouble using it correctly. Being a word used primarily within the Black community, “dolo” fits best when used with AAVE (African American Vernacular English). Saying things like let’s get together dolo, or let’s go dolo on this are incorrect. It is also easy to misuse the term when speaking to a crowd. Dolo means singular, so it would never apply to more than one person.

Acceptable Ways to Phrase DOLO

  • He is flying dolo at the club and living his best life.
  • There is nothing wrong with going dolo if you are not interested in being around people.
  • I love going on vacation dolo and spending time taking care of myself.
  • Let’s just attack this problem dolo from each side and see how things work out.

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