Hype

gethyped_featureHype v./adj. (neosense) 1. To be excited or enthusiastic. 2. Something that is fun or exciting.

Etymology: The neosense of the term “hype” emerged in the 2010s, but the original word is an americanism from the early 20th century with no certain origins. The original use of the word meant “excessive or misleading publicity or advertising”. In this context, “hype” might have been a clipping of the english word “hyperbole”. Hyper (Greek huper, “over” or “above”) + bole (Greek bole, “to throw”). The neosense of hype likely stemmed from this definition.

Sociolectal Information: The term “hype” is recently being  used by young people instead of “being excited” or in regard to something that is exciting.  Most frequently the term can be heard in reference to future events one is looking forward to. The word hype is a common word on college campuses when referring to parties, concerts, or other events.  The word hype can be a useful casual word to use in both ironic or serious contexts. It is most commonly used without the addition of any affixes. Ex. “I am getting hype for this weekend”, “That party was hype”, or “She was too hype”.

Survival Predictions: I think this word will probably run its course soon. Like other words that were very popular until they faded into obscurity after overuse (i.e. swag, YOLO), I fear the same fate for “hype”.  The word is not being used very seriously, and its relation to party culture also might undermine its legitimacy as a real and long-lasting term.  The existence of other words like “excited” or “lit” also renders the word “hype” unnecessary in the long run. I do not think this word will reach much farther beyond the vocabularies of teenagers and young adults before its eventual demise.

Lexopinions: This word is beginning to have negative or annoying connotations, most likely stemming from its overuse.  It’s overuse has already turned “hype” into, for some, into a tired annoying slang word, and its association with party culture can make users of the word seem obnoxious. That being said, my friends and I still use this word, even if it is in mostly joking contexts.

 

Comments

  1. Very thorough post! I use the word hype all the time in this context. I use it to describe my excitement for events coming up and while sometimes it is serious in that it is a way to show intense excitement about something in a funny or casual manner. Just like “lit”, which I also shamelessly use when I’m having fun or ready for something cool, it isn’t necessarily joking, but it definitely more casual and borderline ironic at this point. I do know that people are tired of these words, so I agree with your survival predictions and lexopinions.

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