more on prepositions

Arnold Zwicky zwicky at STANFORD.EDU
Wed Jan 7 14:25:43 UTC 2009

an intransitive "hate", mentioned in a comment on languagehat's blog
So what about "hating on"? I have only seen this in intenet use,
here's three from the same thread:

   Tweety is the best around because he is cute and addorible no
matter how big his head may be. Tweety is still very attractive to me.
So please stop hating on my baby.
   4 AlL u HaT3Rz Dat r HatIn on Tweety he RoCkZ Hell Y3Ah SO iF u
HatIN FUK U!!!
   Why are they hatin on tweety he’s so cute and innocent and for all
yall that be hatin on my favorite cartoon character can go where the
sun dont shine he might be fake but his character is makin more money
than his haters…..Love ya Tweety
I'm not exactly sure what this "hating on" consists of either, since
no one posted any remark that was even remotely negative about the
cartoon character. But I fervently hope that a hundred years from now
this bit of *indefensible slang* is not even a memory.

Posted by: Nijma at January 6, 2009 05:13 PM

then comments suggesting a meaning nuance:

I like 'hating on'. I don't think I'd use it, but I like it just fine,
expressive and not really covered by any other construction AFAIK.

Posted by: michael farris at January 6, 2009 06:07 PM

To hate on: To be envious of someone's style (used in a broad sense)
and therefore ridicule it.

I like it a lot myself, and even use it sometimes...


Posted by: jamessal at January 6, 2009 06:51 PM
To me, "hate on" seems to mean active expression of hatred, whereas
"hate" is a disposition or attitude.

Posted by: John Emerson at January 6, 2009 07:08 PM

and a speculation about its social distribution:

For some reason, I ... thought "hating on" was an entirely African
American expression.

Posted by: Nijma at January 6, 2009 07:38 PM

No one has mentioned it explicitly, maybe because it's obvious, but
"hate on" is AAVE AFAIK. Earliest usage example I could find was in
Dr. Dre's "Forgot about Dre", recorded in 1999. It seems basically to
have originally meant "be jealous of", although I'm sure there's
nuance I'm missing. (Hard to believe Dre is 43.)

Posted by: komfo,amonan at January 6, 2009 11:13 PM

(also some discussion of "hit on" vs. "hit", suggested by phonological
similarity to "hate on" vs. "hate" -- though there's no semantic


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