Bros are a complex breed of human. Defined by UrbanDictionary as “partying males who… talk about nothing but chicks and beer, drive a jacked up truck that’s plastered with stickers… [and] obsess over [appearances],” bros are distinctly different from normally defined social cliques. Therefore, it only makes sense to create a new set of words to describe the bro culture.
First, we must name our new collection of words. Brocabulary (bro + vocabulary) is the umbrella term for all things “bro.” Everything in the list below falls under this title. While I try to cover some basic ideas, I realize I cannot mention every bro-word so feel free to share your own ideas.
Can’t determine if someone is a bro? Take the bro-test. Are they muscular? Are they wearing a tank top, preferably one made out of a t-shirt with the sleeves ripped off? Or, if the setting is more formal, are they wearing a name-brand, pastel-colored polo? Are they clutching their lacrosse stick or some other athletic accessory? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you’ve just encountered a brotacular individual. Brotacular is an all-inclusive adjective used to indicate a guy’s level of “broness.” For example, a boy may wear expensive polos and play a sport but may possess a meek personality, thus deeming him only “Slightly Brotacular.”
Brodar, or, bro-radar, is a mental device employed by non-bro individuals that signals when a pack of bros is approaching. Say a group of guys enter your local coffee shop. They’re all wearing baseball caps and flirtatious grins, but are they bros or baseball players coming back from a game? Time to tune your brodar. Are they harassing any waitresses or making sly remarks about the group of nerdy gamers in the corner? Are their caps bent at just the right angle to signify their bro-status? If you have programmed your brodar correctly, it will pick up on these signs and alert you so that you may escape the room before these guys make direct contact.
4. May the Brorce Be With You
This is the phrase that I imagine is exchanged among bro-communities. When a bro is “knighted” a bro, this is likely what the head-bro (or, “Broda”) says to them as they hand over the first alcoholic beverage. “May the Brorce Be With You” is the verbal equivalent of the friendly “buddy butt-slap” that is often seen at football games among teammates. It can also be said pre-fist bump or right before a bro makes a move on a girl at a party or club. This is not limited to just bros, however. Girls may also say this phrase to each other before walking past packs of bros as a way of expressing emotional support (as if to say, “Just don’t make eye contact and you’ll be fine”). While it is not confirmed that bros or anyone else use this phrase, I think it would be nice if they did.
While I did not invent this word, I think it is relevant to this conversation. Brodeo refers to a party or gathering composed mostly of males. A brodeo (a mix of bro and rodeo) usually involves a lot of drinking and rough-housing. Guys night at a sports bar might be an example of a brodeo. The term was first used in a song called Brodeo by Trainwreck, in which they describe a southern party with an overload of bros or, a BROverload. (Basically, brodeo is a nicer form of the popular yet creepy term “meat market” that I would prefer to never use again.)
Guys are not the only ones that exhibit this sort of behavior. Broettes represent the female version of Bros and demonstrate many of the same qualities, such as unnecessary yelling, excessive team pride, and a tendency to discuss their love of the gym multiple times a day. (This is not true of all female lacrosse players, mind you. Just a select few. You’ll know them when you see them.)
I don’t mean to insult “bros” by constructing these terms. There are some aspects of the bro-life that I appreciate, like the camaraderie, for one thing. This is also not to say that all bros should be lumped under this one, unfortunate, “hypermasculine jerk” stereotype. (Like I said, bros exist on a brotacular range. The characteristics exhibited by one bro should not be applied to all of them and it’s important to differentiate between the good eggs and the bad eggs, as with any subculture.) I only mean to present a set of words to describe the bro stigma that is most prevalent and the culture that surrounds it. If I were to relate this to Mean Girls (and I will because one should never pass an opportunity to do so), I might say bros are just Male “Plastics” with their own set of distinct rules and conduct codes. Considering that they’re probably not going away anytime soon, we might as well develop a way to understand them so we may all peacefully coexist on this planet.
(Shout out to my friends Em and Polly for concocting this fabulous idea!)