[Ads-l] Based--a new sense

Geoffrey Nathan geoffnathan at WAYNE.EDU
Thu May 13 18:56:14 UTC 2021

In the past couple of weeks I’ve seen on Facebook the word 'based' used adjectivally
as an expression of approbation.  It's in UrbanDictionary, which claims it is:

"A word used when you agree with something; or when you want to recognize someone
for being themselves, i.e. courageous and unique or not caring what others think.
Especially common in online political slang.
The opposite of cringe, some times the opposite of biased.
The latter usage is the original use as coined by rapper Lil B, and the word originally took off
on the meta-ironic website 4Chan with the latter meaning. For that reason the word is largely
used meta-ironically (without context you can't tell if it's being used ironically or sincerely as it's
used in both ways) and was popularized in online political slang of conservatives
and the political right before being adopted into mainstream online political slang... "

The usage was unfamiliar enough to me that I had to look it up, and consequently thought it
might be of interest to this august gathering, in part because I don't remember
seeing it discussed elsewhere.

Geoffrey S. Nathan
WSU Information Privacy Officer (Retired)
Emeritus Professor, Linguistics Program
geoffnathan at wayne.edu

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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