Here's the Deal on What "Abow" Means and Why It's All Over TikTok

There's a word going around TikTok called "abow," but few seem to know its true definition — including some of the people using it. The meaning of abow, and its pronunciation, are hefty debates on the video platform right now, with use of the term exploding before people could fully wrap their heads around it. At this point, TikTok should have its own glossary filled with terminology for those of us confused by its popular slang: "cheugy," "simp," and "bussin'" are just a few words I could've used definitions for over the years. As it turns out, though, "abow" isn't just a phrase used in TikTok videos; some reports claim it stems from an Arabic term and was made popular in the US from TikTok-viral songs, like "Throw It Back" by artists ShantiiP and TarioP.

What Does Abow Mean on TikTok?

The true origin of "abow" is still up for debate, but according to unconfirmed entries on Urban Dictionary and various accounts of TikTokers in video comment sections, "abow" appears to come from the Arabic language but is used frequently in European countries like Sweden and Turkey as well. It's reportedly used to express excitement or shock, with some likening abow to words like "damn" or "wow" in English. Abow gained widespread popularity on TikTok in part from the song "Throw It Back" by artists ShantiiP and TarioP on TikTok, where the artists use it in the following context: "he told me throw it back, abow." When replaced with "damn" or "wow," abow theoretically makes sense in this instance.

Several TikTokers are also backing this possible definition with comments on videos with the hashtag #abow, saying, "It's an Arabic way of saying 'DAMNNN' or 'WOW,' it's said differently in Arabic though, sounds more like UBAHHH, than abow." With a variety of thoughts circulating on the exact meaning of "abow," it sounds like the internet has at least categorized "abow" as a word to get someone excited.