What is a 'foid'? 'Incel' derogatory slang meaning explained in wake of Ohio arrest

Shania Wilson July 22, 2021
'Incel' slang explained: What is a 'foid'?
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What is a “foid” in “incel” slang? A recent Ohio arrest on hate crime charges placed the online “incel” (short for “involuntary celibate”) community in the media spotlight, after a young man was accused of planning to commit a mass shooting. His plans, replete with “incel” slang, mention the derogatory term “foid”, which is leaving some readers confused.

A man was arrested on Wednesday (21 July) for plotting to kill women in a mass shooting.

‘Foid’ meaning explained

In “incel” slang, “Foid” and “femoid” are terms used interchangeably, predominantly to degrade women, usually in conversation with other “incels” in the community.

The terms, used to mean “female humanoid (organism)”, are a way to dehumanise or categorise women as sub-human.

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As per the Urban Dictionary, “foid” is a shortened version of “femoid”.

What or who is an ‘incel’, you may ask. That leads us to our next explanation.

What is an ‘incel’?

In short, “incel” is a term used to describe someone who considers themselves to be involuntarily celibate – i.e. they can’t get a date.

Supposedly coined by a Canadian feminist, the concept refers to someone who would like to be sexually active but is unable to be, and might blame women for not “giving” them what “incels” see as their due . The term also grew in popularity due to Reddit groups and forums.

Commonly, an ‘incel’ will express resentment or hostility towards those who are sexually active and towards the women who turn them down. The community of people who fit under the “incel” umbrella are often extremely misogynistic, blaming women for their own lack of sexual intimacy.

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Ohio arrest spotlights ‘inceldom’

Although the degrading phrases “foid” and “femoid” are likely used frequently among “incels”, the slang has been spotlighted in the wake of an arrest in Ohio.

Reportedly, a 21-year-old was apprehended and charged with an attempted mass shooting against women, fuelled by “hatred, jealousy and revenge.”

Honing in on sororities at a university in Ohio, the suspect is allegedly a recurring user of terms such as “foid” – in the past, he apparently talked about spraying “some foids and couples” with orange juice in a water gun.

According to a police report, the suspect was an active user of a popular “incel” website from 2019 and throughout 2020.

The report further states: “[suspect] is charged with one count of attempting to commit a hate crime which, because it involved an attempt to kill, is punishable by up to life in prison and one count of illegally possessing a machine gun which is punishable by up to 10 years.”

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Shania is a Magazine Journalism graduate from the University of Derby. Her main passion is rooted in print journalism, however, she also branches out towards social media and is also interested in public relations. Outside of writing, Shania enjoys using social media, reading, and drinking coffee.