Hey there, fabulous readers! It’s your linguistic sleuth, Louisa Loveluck, and today we’re unraveling a common query that many of us have pondered – what does it mean when a guy calls you “Shawty” or “Shorty”?

You’ve noticed that sometimes men call you Shawty or Shorty when conversing with you, and you want to know what it means.

You’re assuming it’s a compliment because the terms are rarely said to you by guys you know but by random men in the street asking for your phone number. But what does it mean?

Is shawty/shorty derogatory? Should you be offended when a guy refers to you as Shawty/shorty?

Keep reading to discover what it means when a guy calls you Shawty/shorty. 

Is Hey Shawty A Compliment?

Shawty is a compliment in general. A pretty woman is what this slang word means.

From Atlanta, Georgia, in the United States, it comes. Because women are typically shorter than men, men started calling them “shorty.” In time, the word changed into shawty.

A man will say something like, “Hey Shawty, let me holla at you real quick,” when he tries to attract a woman’s attention.

He will ask her name, compliment her some more, and try to get her phone number if she agrees to talk to him.

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Pet Names Guys Give Girls:

  • Boo, Dude, Crazy
  • Sweetheart, Lady
  • Shawty, Pretty, Beautiful
  • Adorable, Hot, Hun
  • Bro, Daddy, Mommy
  • Babe, Love, Gorgeous
  • Sweet, Sexy

What Does It Mean When A Guy Calls You Shawty?

When a guy calls you Shawty, it could mean that he thinks you’re hot, wants your phone number, or wants all women to call him Shawty.

Keep reading to discover what it means when a guy calls you Shawty. 

1 He Thinks You’re Hot

A guy will call you Shawty if he thinks you’re attractive but doesn’t know your name.

He may not want to speak to you or get your number, but he’ll say something like, “What’s up, shawty?” as he walks past. Something like, “I like dem jeans shawty.”

But that’s as far as he’ll take it. He’ll say what he wants to say and keep it moving. 

2 He Wants Your Phone Number

A guy calls you Shawty other times because he thinks you’re hot and wants your phone number. He won’t walk past in this situation. He may ask to speak to you or take your hand.

He’ll then make small talk with you by asking if you live in the area and if you have a boyfriend. He’ll ask for your number if he feels certain you’ll give it to him.

3 He Calls All Women Shawty

The word “shawty” is a term of endearment for some men, and he addresses all women in this way, especially if he doesn’t know their names.

If a man needs directions or help, he may say, “hey, shawty,” to get your attention. He’ll then say sorry for bothering you, ask what he needs, and go on his way.

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4 He Wants To Get To Know You

He’ll call you “Shawty” to let you know he wants to get to know you because he likes you.

You may be at a bar, and he notices you as you walk by and says, “Hey Shawty.” He hopes you’ll stop and talk to him so he can get to know you better.

5 He Wants To Sleep With You

When a man wants a one-night stand, it’s all about the numbers. In the hopes that one of them will take him up on his offer, he will spend the day approaching various women.

He’s not trying to get to know you, but he won’t ask you to sleep with him either. He just needs your phone number so he can call you later and get what he wants.

As the name of the street where he met you, Shawty Front Street, he’ll likely store your numbers as that.

What Do You Say Back When A Guy Calls You Shawty Or Shorty?

When a guy calls you Shawty or Shorty, you can say back, “My name isn’t Shawty,” or “Refer to him as Buff Tings.”

If a guy calls you Shawty or Shorty, keep reading to find out what to say back.

1 My Name Isn’t Shawty

You’re inviting him to ask for your real name by telling him your name isn’t Shawty. If you don’t want to talk to him, don’t say that.

Keep a smile on your face when you say it, so he knows you’re not mad about being stopped on the street.

2 Refer To Him As Buff Tings

Refer to him as “buff tings” if you find the guy attractive. Using buff tings is slang for an attractive man because we’re talking about attractive men.

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You’re letting him know that the feelings are mutual and that you’re okay with whatever he’s down with by speaking to him in this way.

3 How Can I Help You?

The reason the guy is calling you like that is because he wants your phone number. But since you’re not sure, be polite and ask how you can assist him.

It’s possible that he’ll ask you for someone or something. This way of responding gives him a chance to tell you what he wants instead of quickly drawing conclusions.

Tell him you have a boyfriend even if you don’t have one if he asks for your phone number and you’re not interested.

It’s best to tell him you have a boyfriend because some men can’t handle being turned down and may become violent. Keep it going by saying you have a partner.

4 Don’t Get Offended

When a man calls you Shawty, you don’t need to be offended because the guy isn’t trying to be rude.

That’s just what he calls attractive women, and if you get offended, he may get defensive, and you’ll end up fighting with a random man on the street.

5 Ignore Him

If a guy calls you “shawty,” sometimes the best thing to do is not hear him. If you’re wearing headphones, this works wonderfully.

A lot of women wear headphones in public because they don’t want to deal with being called names like “cat” all the time.

It’s all well and good to have men find you attractive, but it can be annoying when a guy is trying to talk to you every two seconds and you can’t get anywhere on the street.


As you’ve read, shawty/shorty is typically used by men when they want to speak to a woman they find attractive. How you respond will determine the direction of the conversation.

If you think he’s cute too, spend a couple of minutes speaking to him so that you can catch his vibe before you give him your number.

However, if you’re not interested, you can either ignore him or tell him you’ve got a boyfriend. 

By Louisa Loveluck

Hey there! I'm Louisa Loveluck, your trusted relationship advisor with over 7 years of experience. You might've caught my insights on relationships and more in Huffington Post UK. Thousands have already found guidance in my articles. Dive in for a transformative journey in understanding and navigating the complexities of relationships.