I’m wondering about the pluralisation of “ho” (as in slang for prostitute) in the phrase “Bros before ho(e)s”. To me, hos makes sense because it’s consistent with bros. Hoes could also refer to a particular type of gardening equipment, although given the context of the phrase there should be no ambiguity.
On the other hand, hos looks like it’s pronounced “hoss” whereas bros doesn’t really suffer from that problem. A Google Trends search between “hos” and “hoes” shows that the words by themselves are used equally frequently.
However a Google Trends search between the phrases indicates that “Bros before hoes“ is more popular (note the scaling), barring a large seasonal spike in “Bros before hos“. In the latter case, it’s almost as though brothership and camaraderie is strongly tied to Christmas cheer, but on closer examination it seems to be because of a World of Warcraft holiday achievement. Even then the phrase is a play on “Ho ho ho” and not to do with ladies of the evening.
So I’m still undecided between hos and hoes. Can anyone “help a brother out”?
The apostrophe to the rescue! From the wikipedia article concerning the acceptable uses of an apostrophe, one is “The marking as plural of written items that are not words established in English orthography” for example “P’s and Q’s”
Clearly “bro” and “ho” are not standard English, so making them plural via ‘s is acceptable.
Therefore, I would write it as “Bro’s before ho’s“