Pour One Out for the Homies – Meaning, Origin and Usage

Are you going to a funeral? If you’re having a drink outside with friends to commemorate the person, you could always “pour one out for the homies?” as a sign of respect.

This post unpacks the origin and meaning of this idiom.

Meaning

To “pour one out for the homies” means that you’re going to make a toast to fallen friends. The original use of the term comes from hip-hop street culture. Gang members would “pour one out for the homies” that got shot in bad drug deals and other situations on the streets.

The phrase rose to popularity in the late 80s and early 90s and features in the lyrics of many popular rap songs from leading artists of this time.

However, as with much hip-hop slang, it found its way into many other communities. Many people will use the phrase and “pour one out for the homies” even when they don’t have any dead homies to pour one out to.

The phrase also originally referred to pouring out a 40-oz malt liquor bottle. However, it’s still a popular phrase in use today. The modern use of the term can refer to pouring out beer or any beverage, even non-alcoholic drinks.

Example Usage

“We lost a good brother in Tyrel and Scott. Let’s pour one out for the homies and remember what they did for the crew while they were alive.”

“Pass me a beer. Wait, gotta pour one out for the homies.”

“Let’s get hammered, but first, let’s pour one out for the homies.”

Origin

Pour one out for the homies” originates from the 80s and 90s hip-hop culture. However, the practice of pouring a beverage on the floor to commemorate fallen comrades goes back much further than the 80s.

The Ancient Egyptians would pour a small amount of water on the floor to commemorate a fallen person. The water was a symbol of eternal life. Ancient Greece and Africa also report tribes doing the same thing to show respect for the lost people in their life.

The Romans would carve a stone chalice into the graves of the elite so they could drink in the afterlife. After Christianity arrived, the practice stopped until hip-hop street culture revived it thousands of years later in the 80s and 90s.

Phrases Similar to Pour One Out for the Homies

  • This one is for the homies.
  • Here’s to the homies.

Phrases Opposite to Pour One Out for the Homies

  • Spit on someone’s grave.
  • Walk on someone’s grave.

What is the Correct Saying?

  • Pour one out for the homies.
  • Pour one out for the homie.
  • Pouring one out for the homie(s).

Ways People May Say Pour One Out for the Homies Incorrectly

Some people may use “pour one out for the homies” incorrectly. Typically, the phrase refers to people that are dead. If you’re using the phrase to commemorate people that couldn’t make it to a party, that would be the incorrect use of the phrase.

Acceptable Ways to Phrase Pour One Out for the Homies

You can use “pour one out for the homies” in several social situations, even if you aren’t African American. You can use the phrase with a serious tone at a funeral to show your respect for a fallen friend, or you can use it in a lighthearted manner when you want to change the direction of a conversation with your friends. Typically, you’ll be drinking an alcoholic beverage when making the reference, but it can apply to any drink.

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