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‘Joe Shiesty’ meaning explored as hilarious memes take over Twitter

Bruno Cooke January 31, 2022
‘Joe Shiesty’ meaning explored as hilarious memes take over Twitter
Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

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Joe Burrow goes by many nicknames: “Joe Brrr”, “Joe Mama”, “Joe Cool”, “Joey Franchise” – or, if he doesn’t go by them per se, they’re certainly his. But what’s the meaning behind his latest, “Joe Shiesty”, and how can one player generate so many memes?

What’s the meaning of Joe Burrow’s nickname, ‘Joe Shiesty’?

Many NFL fans will likely join the dots between Joe Burrow’s nickname and Lontrell Donell Williams Jr’s stage name, Pooh Shiesty. 

Pooh’s stage name comes from a childhood nickname – “Mr Pooh”. He revealed as much in a short ABCs video for XXL last June. According to an interview he gave for UPROXX a month earlier, his late brother paired “Pooh” with the word “Shiesty”, in reference to his lifestyle.

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Urban Dictionary lists multiple definitions of the word “shiesty”, but the consensus view is that it refers to a person who is untrustworthy, shady, greedy and/or inconsiderate. Or, it’s an action you could describe in the same terms.

Where did the nickname originate?

The first person to call Joe Burrow “Joe Shiesty” appears to be TikToker @traphousesports. 

In a 28 November 2021 video upload, the social media football commentator said the game had him “absolutely befuddled”.

“This second outplay right here just sums up the whole game. The Bengals ran all over the Steelers. … Look at Joe Shiesty, Joe Brrr.”

The “Brrr” sound is likely a reference to the noise rapper Pooh Shiesty is known for making – evident in the videos linked above. Rather than bring him down, however, the nickname Joe Shiesty appears to have a more positive meaning.

It is something like a celebration of his playing style. Per Cincy Jungle, he is the “ideal imperfect quarterback”.

“Burrow’s feet are as quiet as a monk”, waxes podcaster and journalist John Sheeran. “It’s like a dance that he’s practiced all his life, and he can simply focus on where his progressions take him. While he’s looking the part of a prototypical pocket passer, he blazes through full-field reads and manages to hold defenders and open up throwing windows that barely even existed.”

Joe Shiesty memes and merch take over social media

Traphousesports, aka Depressed Cowboys Fan, aka Temporary Bengals Fan, has been selling Joe Shiesty and Joe Brrr merchandise, including T-shirts, hoodies and bike shorts – though no jerseys just yet.

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His customers have been posting videos of themselves wearing his hoodies, or otherwise tweeting about their purchases. 

Meanwhile, Joe Shiesty memes have been running riot on social media. Some make direct reference to Joe’s different monikers – Shiesty, Brrr, Mama, etc. – while others are less obvious with their meaning.

Here are some notable examples.

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Bruno is a novelist, amateur screenwriter and journalist with interests in digital media, storytelling, film and politics. He’s lived in France, China, Sri Lanka and the Philippines, but returned to the UK for a degree (and because of the pandemic) in 2020. His articles have appeared in Groundviews, Forge Press and The Friday Poem, and most are readable on Medium or onurbicycle.com.