Everyone on TikTok Is Swearing "Onna Dhz" and the People Have Questions

Among slang terms, “dhz” has been making the rounds on TikTok. The term actually comes from a deep history in Los Angeles. Here's what it means.

Jamie Lerner - Author

Feb. 20 2024, Published 10:20 a.m. ET

New words, phrases, and slang pop up all the time on TikTok, from abbreviations like "OD" to acronyms like "STTM." The latest term to make the rounds has been "dhz," which is actually a shorthand abbreviation for a bit of slang from Los Angeles. Because of the ease of sharing and virality on TikTok, dhz has traveled from the streets of Los Angeles to the screens of tweens.

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Naturally, we all want to know what dhz means since its exact definition is quite elusive. Unless one is actually part of the community that coined the term years ago, it isn't the easiest TikTok slang to understand. So what does dhz mean? Keep reading to find out!

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“Dhz” is a shorthand for “dead homies.”

Through some investigative digging, we were able to ascertain that dhz is a shorthand for “dead homies.” The term, “dead homie,” has been around since at least the early 2000s, although it likely goes back to the 1993 film, Dead Homiez. Directed by Billy Wright, the film tells the story of the aftermath of a gang shooting. It’s based on the true story of Billy’s cousin’s 1988 death and features Tupac and Notorious B.I.G.

Now, however, “dead homies” has taken on a whole other meaning. People say it to swear on something, by saying, “On my dead homies.” For example, someone might say, “I’m from Los Angeles, on my dead homies,” if they think that whoever they’re talking to doesn't believe them. If we go back to Dead Homiez, we can see that the term is actually rooted in the losses often experienced by the gangs of Los Angeles.

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People jam out to "Dead Homies" song
Source: Getty Images

Many young people in Los Angeles who were involved with gangs may have lost friends, “homies,” throughout the years. Swearing on their dead homies was a way to prove legitimacy, but nowadays, the term is thrown around without any care for its origin.

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In fact, there are many TikTok videos making fun of people, specifically women, who say “dhz” without actually understanding its origin. It’s rare for people who say “dhz” to actually have any dead homies. While the term came from a very real struggle, it’s now thrown around without any real meaning. If someone says “on my dead homies” without actually having any, then what are they even swearing on?

A shot from the 'Dead Homiez' movie
Source: Con Communications
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Even still, that doesn’t stop the TikTok world from saying "dhz." Sometimes, people say it to seem tough, kind of as a flex. But especially when you don’t have friends who have passed away, it could be quite disrespectful to say "dhz."

While some slang that’s circulated on TikTok is all fun and games, even if there is a spoken history behind it, it’s important to learn the origins and true meanings behind popular language. Not all TikTok slang is created equally and if people are throwing around dhz loosely without understanding the implications and the history, it could be seen as disrespectful.

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