The Meaning of Boogaloo: What It Is and How To Use It

Boogaloo might sound like a silly made-up word, but what is the deeper meaning of this term? Read this article to learn the meaning of boogaloo.

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The word Boogaloo may seem like a funny word to say. As a dance of the 1960s and 1970s, it did begin this way. However, in the modern era of extremist online communities, the Boogaloo Movement has turned dark. Keep reading to learn more about this violent and often racist anti-government alt-right group of individuals.

What Does the Word Boogaloo Mean?

According to Dictionary, the word Boogaloo refers to the Boogaloo Movement, a group of extremists who are in favor of a second American Civil War and support the insurrection of the left-wing federal government. For the members of the Boogaloo Movement, this Civil War is also referred to as a boogaloo. 

People who are in the Boogaloo Movement, known as Boogaloo Boys or Boogaloo Bois, are vehemently anti-government and are considered a far-right, anti-police, and pro-gun extremist group. Often, members of the Boogaloo Movement have racist beliefs and identify as white supremacists. This was shown in their exploitation of various police brutality protests during the Black Lives Matter movement, such as George Floyd and Breonna Taylor protests in places like Las Vegas, Nevada, and Minneapolis, Minnesota.

People in the Boogaloo Movement have been targeted by police brutality and law enforcement for their anti-government extremism and are hailed as martyrs in their community. Examples of this include Duncan Lemp of Potomac, Maryland, who was killed by police in March 2020 during a no-known search warrant for his illegal possession of firearms and attempts to organize militias.

Members of the Boogaloo Movement have varying political ideologies, from anarchists to libertarians to fascists, Neo-Nazi, and white nationalists. As with any political group, extremism can vary. However, if you meet a Boogaloo Boy, they likely have extreme beliefs. 

Boogaloo adherents are often violent and promote violence in society to hasten their mission for a second Civil War. Some have been charged with violent crimes like planning terrorism, inciting race wars and racial violence, and killing police officers. They often use slang terms like “big luau” to reference murdering cops. This is because cops are sometimes known as “pigs,” which are cooked at luaus.

What Is the Etymology of the Word Boogaloo?

According to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the term boogaloo began as a slang term for a sequel installment of something. Dictionary states that this phrase often refers to an unwanted sequel because of the movie Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo. The original meaning of electric Boogaloo is a form of break dancing that began in the 1960s. 

Due to this meme, the word boogaloo quickly spread on the internet on message boards like Reddit and 4Chan in the 2010s on the /k/ and /pol/ message boards. This was then used to refer to a sort of “Civil War 2,” or Civil War sequel, hence the use of the word Boogaloo. Eventually, the term was shortened to Boogaloo and the Boogaloo Movement was born.

As the movement progressed, there were even stranger esoteric terms used to refer to the Boogaloo Movement, including “big luau” and “big igloo.” Members of the Boogaloo Movement will often use Hawaiian prints or igloos on their apparel to signify themselves as “Boogaloo Bois.” 

Some Boogaloo Movement members also use the term boojahideen. This adapted from the term for Muslim guerrilla fighters known as mujahideen, often seen in Iran and Afghanistan.

What Are Translations of Boogaloo?

While the word boogaloo is uncommon outside of the U.S., you can use a translation of anarchist to refer to someone who is anti-government in other languages: 

  • Turkish: anarşist
  • Chinese (Taiwan): 無政府主義者
  • Swahili: Anarchist.
  • Portuguese (Portugal): anarquista
  • Swedish: anarkist
  • Tamil: அராஜகவாதிகள்
  • Chinese (PRC): 无政府主义者
  • Slovenian: anarhist.
  • Telugu: అరాజకవాది
  • Hungarian: anarchista
  • Japanese: アナキスト
  • Hebrew: אֲנַרכִיסט
  • Bulgarian: анархист
  • Malayalam: അരാജകവാദി
  • Gujarati: અરાજકતાવાદી
  • Arabic: الأناركي
  • Kannada: ಅರಾಜಕತಾವಾದಿ
  • Thai: อนาธิปไตย
  • Catalan: anarquista
  • Slovak: anarchista
  • Hindi: अराजकतावादी
  • Polish: anarchista
  • German: Anarchist
  • Norwegian: anarkist
  • Finnish: anarkisti
  • French: anarchiste
  • Vietnamese: vô chính phủ.
  • Filipino: anarkista
  • Malay: anarkis
  • Spanish: anarquista
  • Greek: αναρχικός
  • Marathi: अराजकतावादी
  • Croatian: anarhist
  • Estonian: anarhist
  • Welsh: anarchaidd
  • Bengali: অরাজকতা
  • Latvian: anarhists
  • Portuguese (Brazil): anarquista
  • Romanian: anarhist
  • Czech: anarchista
  • Ukrainian: анархіст
  • Indonesian: anarkis
  • Serbian: анархиста
  • Urdu: انتشار
  • Lithuanian: anarchistas
  • Korean: 무정부주의자
  • Basque: anarkista
  • Italian: anarchico
  • Danish: anarkistisk.
  • Amharic: አንቲስት
  • Russian: анархист

What Are Synonyms of the Word Boogaloo?

While the term Boogaloo refers to a very specific group or movement, there are many ways a person can refer to someone who identifies as an anarchist or anti-government. If you are looking for a word that can be used to refer to an anarchist, look no further than this list of synonyms from Power Thesaurus. If you need a word to describe an anarchist more generally than the term boogaloo, start here!

  • agitator
  • agitators
  • anarch
  • anarchic
  • anarchical
  • anarchist
  • anarchistic
  • anarchists
  • arsonist
  • avant-gardes
  • bomber
  • communist
  • demagogue
  • demonstrator
  • disrupter
  • dissenter
  • dissident
  • existentialist
  • extremist
  • fanatic
  • firebrand
  • freedom fighter
  • frondeur
  • guerrilla
  • gunman
  • heretic
  • iconoclast
  • incendiary
  • insubordinate
  • insurgent
  • insurrectionary
  • insurrectionist
  • lawless
  • leftist
  • malcontent
  • malcontents
  • mutineer
  • mutinous
  • nihilist
  • nonconformist
  • propagandist
  • radical
  • radicals
  • reactionary
  • rebel
  • rebellious
  • recreant
  • red
  • reformer
  • renegade
  • revolter
  • revolutionaries
  • revolutionary
  • revolutionist
  • rioter
  • secessionist
  • sparkplug
  • subversive
  • syndicalist
  • syndicalists
  • terrorist
  • terrorists
  • traitor
  • ultra


Overall, the term boogaloo refers to an extremist anti-government movement prevalent in online communities on sites like Reddit and 4Chan. Unlike the boogaloo dance of the 1960s and 1970s, Boogaloo groups are known for their conspiracy theories, violent militia movement, riots, and corruption of Black Lives Matter protests.


  1. electric boogaloo |
  2. Examining Extremism: The Boogaloo Movement | CSIS 
  3. What Does Boogaloo Mean? | Pop Culture by 
  4. The Boogaloo Movement | Anti-Defamation League 
  5. Anarchist synonyms – 224 Words and Phrases for Anarchist | Power Thesaurus