- n. (noun) Someone who wishes to be or do something but lacks the qualifications or talent; an overeager amateur; an aspirant.
According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, ‘wannabe’ originated in 1981 as surfer slang and was popularized around 1984 ‘in reference to female fans of pop singer Madonna.’
“While all the hoopla surrounding the Material Girl was happening, a new word to describe the thousands, of not millions, of Madonna clones made it to the dictionary: 'wannabe.”
“Even without having been a truly devout Madonna fan (too young to be a wannabe, I was a wannabe wannabe), I managed to own every one of her albums back when people owned albums.”
“The Chicago Police Department's No. 2 official blamed the recent violence on warring between two ‘wannabe’ gangs.”