Inspired by a possible mishearing of "wealth" as "welf" I recalled the word "welfie" to describe someone currently on welfare. The context was always extremely negative and seemed to hint at someone with "welfare babies." Searching for welfie, welfy and welfare baby isn't revealing much. NGrams suggests "welfare baby" is used with spikes in the late 60s and throughout the 90s. No results for "welfie" or "welfy" were found. A OneLook search for welf* pointed me toward "welfare mother" (Urban Dictionary) and "welfare queen" (Wikipedia). The latter is most similar to what I think the term "welfie" implied:

A welfare queen is a pejorative phrase used in the United States to describe people who are accused of collecting excessive welfare payments through fraud or manipulation.

Having done due diligence, I am kicking this to the curb. Has anyone else heard "welfie" or have another avenue I can search? I most likely heard the term spoken and most likely in an East Texas city of roughly 20,000 population.

1 Answer 1


Welfie appears in the related terms for Yuppie on Wikipedia, meaning "a poor urban professional", but there's no reference given.

However, I did come across this list of "Essex" terms (Essex is a county just north-east of London). Welfie, meaning rich, appears down towards the bottom of the list.

Here in the UK then, it means something more like wealthy than on welfare. Substituting th with f is fairly common in some dialects in England.

I also found this blog for you. This gentleman appears to be from the US, and using welfie as short for welfare, though not quite in the same way as you suggested.

Last, I found this book review, which uses welfie in the way you describe.

(For reference, I found these by Googling terms like skiving welfie and poor welfie. Sometimes searching for related terms can narrow the search down. Also Google will automatically try to correct your spelling, in this case unhelpfully.)

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