You’re milloneion

Text: A “rebus” (visual puzzle) – “You’re milloneion”

Informant: NS

Ethnicity: Indian

Primary Language: English

Age: 26

Residence: San Francisco

Context: MILLONEION is a visual puzzle that can be interpreted as “one in a million.” (It’s the word “million,” with “one” interjected into the middle of it). The informant said that the phrase was popular when he was in middle school, and was used as a way to show affection between friends and peers. 


The informant is male, and primarily interacted with other male friends and peers at a time when toxic masculinity was very prevalent, contributed to by middle school environments and the pressure to fit in. Toxic masculinity is defined as a set of attitudes and behaviors associated with societal stereotypes and expectations of men that have had a negative impact on men and general society; a key aspect of this social concept revolves around men not showing any outward affection or “softness,” especially in the presence of other men. In my opinion, using the phrase “you’re milloneion” was a fun, subtle way for the informant and his friends to show affection and express gratitude and appreciation for their friendships without being too overt about it, essentially finding a workaround for toxic masculinity norms.