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“Seems Legit” is an expression used as a sarcastic retort to a suspected attempt at deception and is often used to caption image macros depicting factually questionable statements and scenarios.
The word “legit” is a colloquial shortening of the adjective “legitimate”, which was coined in the mid 15th century to mean “lawfully begotten” according to the Online Etymology Dictionary. The term was popularized in 1991 with the release of the song “Too Legit to Quit” by rap artist MC Hammer.
The earliest known sarcastic use of the phrase “sounds legit” online comes from a thread in the AnandTech computer hardware review forums from November 11th, 2006. In the thread, the original poster asks if a certain online payment service is a scam, to which forum member jupiter57 replies “sounds legit to me!”
On April 17th, 2009, the first Urban Dictionary definition for “seems legit” was submitted by user Psyber Kayos who pointed out the sarcastic use of the phrase.
1) What one would say in a situation that arouses suspicions, but is ultimately determined to pose no threat.
2) What one would say ironically in a situation that is obviously NOT legit, usually dealing with illicit activities such as drugs and pedophilia, or the purchase of knockoff merchandise.
1) This muscle cream isn’t a brand I’ve ever heard of, but there’s no ingredients label on it so it can’t be steroids. Seems legit.
The domain for the website seemslegit.com, which features a wide variety of demotivational poster images, was registered on May 24th. On August 2nd, a Free Candy Van image macro with the caption “don’t be a pussy this guy seems legit” (shown left) was submitted to the Internet humor site FunnyJunk. On March 2nd, 2010, a photo of a spray painted wall with the words “Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory / Free Tours!” (shown right) was submitted to the /r/funny subreddit in a post titled “Seems Legit to me.”
On January 31st, 2011, a post titled “Seems Legit” reached the front page of the /r/pics subreddit with a photo edited to appear as if the subject had well defined ab muscles (shown left). The post accumulated 4,351 up votes prior to being archived. On June 1st, Randall Munroe published a webcomic to his site xkcd titled “Advertising Discovery”, in which a person sitting at their computer thinks “sounds legit” while reading a penis enlargement spam message with citations (shown right).
In the context of image board and forum threads, “seems legit” is often used to expose someone as being deceptive. An archived 4chan thread from October 8th, 2011, shows “seems legit” used as a sarcastic reply to an original poster masquerading as the electronic music producer Skrillex.
In image macros, the phrase is often used as a caption to bring attention to an unbelievable claim or scenario.