- a child of a celebrity or a famous person.
- a famous person who has a famous parent (or another close relative).
- someone who has benefited from nepotism.
- used to describe the children of celebrities given roles in movies or television shows based on family connections.
The phrase “nepo baby” is slang, referring to someone who has achieved success or fame because of family connections and often is met with success despite the competition.
“Nepo” is a short form of nepotism, the practice of favoring relatives in business or other matters. It’s often used derogatorily, implying a person’s success results from familial influence, not personal merit.
The slang is thought to have originated in the early 2000s. It gained popularity in 2022. Theories abound about the origin of the phrase “nepo baby.” One suggests it emerged in Hollywood, where the children of famous actors or directors gained privileged opportunities in the entertainment industry. Another theory points to politics, where individuals from influential political families had an advantage in their careers.
Identifying the creator of the term “nepo baby” poses a challenge due to its organic growth on online platforms and forums. The term was officially documented in the Oxford English Dictionary in 2022. However, its initial appearance in a book or source remains unidentified.
It’s probable that its popularity spread through online communities. Furthermore, note that “nepotism” is mentioned in the holy book (Deuteronomy 1:16–17). However, its relation to the modern usage of “nepo baby” remains uncertain.
In February 2022, the popularity of the slang “nepo baby” skyrocketed when a Canadian tech-support worker and a Twitter user named Meriem Derradji tweeted that Euphoria star Maude Apatow had famous parents—actress Leslie Mann and Judd Apatow (director and comedian), but wasn’t entirely self-made. The phrase has started trending on Twitter and has been widely expressed on social media in earnest expressions of surprise, enmity, and even compliments. It is believed that this was the time when the slang “Nepo baby” was actually coined and came to light.
- nepotism baby
- silver spoon baby
- trust fund baby
The phrase has various variants, such as nepotism baby, silver spoon baby, and trust fund baby, all of which have the same meaning but are used in different contexts.
For instance, “nepo baby” is often used in a negative way, suggesting a person’s success is not deserved. On the other hand, “silver spoon baby” is more neutral, describing someone born into wealth and privilege.
- American model Hailey Bieber is not ashamed of being nepo baby.
- I was a huge fan of hers until I found out she is a nepo baby.
- Being a nepo baby doesn’t guarantee that you can be a highly successful person.