‘Starbs’: Definition, Meaning, and Examples

By Sophia Merton, updated on January 27, 2023

Did someone ask you if you want to go to ‘Starbs’, and you have no idea what they mean? In this article, we’ll look at the definition of this casual slang term as well as examples of its use in sentences.

In brief, ‘Starbs’ is a shortened version of ‘Starbucks.’ This slang word can be used anytime you would use the name of the popular Seattle-based coffee chain.

What Does 'Starbs' Mean?

‘Starbs’ is a slang term that is used to refer to the iconic Seattle-based coffee chain Starbucks. Not only is shortening the two-syllable word “Starbucks” convenient, but it also adds a humorous twang when referring to the popular coffee shop. You might also hear people refer to Starbucks as “Starbies.”

As an example, your coworker might ask you if you “want anything from Starbs” or let you know that they’re “running to Starbs” on their break.

Where Does 'Starbs' Come From?

Starbucks was founded at Seattle’s Pike Place Market by Jerry Baldwin, Gordon Bowker, and Zev Siegl back in 1971. The company was sold to Howard Schultz in the early 1980s, at which time it was a coffee bean store. Schultz decided to transform the business into a coffee shop that served espresso-based drinks after taking a business trip to Milan, Italy.

The franchise expanded aggressively with Shultz as the chief executive officer, a title he held from 1986 to 2000 and then returned again during the 2008 financial crisis. Starbucks had since positioned itself as a leader in the industry of fair trade coffee under the leadership of Orin Smith.

By the turn of the century, there were about 2,500 Starbucks locations in roughly a dozen countries. By 2007, there were more than 15,000 locations around the world and more than 32,000 stores worldwide by 2021.

Arguably the most coffee chain in the entire world, Starbucks has received both great praise and intense criticism over the decades. It is said that Starbucks sells around 4 million cups of coffee every day.

Considering just how popular Starbucks is, it’s not a surprise that a slang term has emerged in the common lexicon.

It is said that it first appeared on the internet during the late 2000s when it was used on social media platforms and various online forums. Starbucks is also sometimes abbreviated as “SBUX,” which is also the ticker symbol for the company on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

Examples of 'Starbs' In Sentences

How would you use ‘Starbs’ in a sentence? Let’s look at some examples:

  • “If we’re going to be stuck in traffic and be late to the meeting anyway, we may as well get off this exit and grab some Starbs.”
  • “Studying for this exam has been the bane of my existence. I’m going to need to live at Starbs for the next few days if I want to have a chance at passing.”
  • “I’ve spent way too much money at Starbs recently. I’ve started making coffee at home and bringing it to work with me to try and save a little extra cash every week.”
  • Where’s the nearest Starbs? I’m going to get a headache if I don’t get some caffeine soon.”
  • “He said he might stop at Starbs during his lunch break– do you want anything?”
  • “I’m so grateful there’s a Starbs right across the street. I wouldn’t make it through the week without it!”
  • “Can you believe that Mrs. Sanderson has a second job at Starbs? She teaches classes during the week and sells espresso on the weekends.”
  • “I know Starbs is famous for its coffee, but I honestly prefer Dunkin Donuts.”

Are you ready to learn more English slang, phrases, and common expressions? Head over to our idioms blog!

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Written By:
Sophia Merton
Sophia Merton is one of the lead freelance writers for WritingTips.org. Sophia received her BA from Vassar College. She is passionate about reading, writing, and the written word. Her goal is to help everyone, whether native English speaker or not, learn how to write and speak with perfect English.

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