An image of the suffix -core


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Added Nov 07, 2022 at 10:25AM EST by sakshi.

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Core refers to the suffix "-core," which is used like "-oholic" (as in "chocoholic") or "-tini" (as in appletini). The slang "-core" predates meme history, with the word "hardcore" entering popular discourse as early as the 1930s. The suffix "-core" has since been used extensively in modern internet aesthetics discourse, with the term normcore being popularized around the year 2014, and the words cottagecore, "goblincore" and the meta "corecore" becoming popularized after the year 2018.


The suffix "-core" or the add-on term "core" has been used in common English since the 1930s, with the earliest known portmanteau emerging in the 1930s, meaning β€œan irreducible nucleus or residuum; also a stubborn or unyielding minority.”[1] The word hardcore was added to Urban Dictionary by the user Sooper on June 9th, 2002.[2]

SER 10


The word normcore is the first slang term with the suffix "-core" to become popular through the internet. The word "normcore" refers to a fashion trend centered around dressing "boring and dull" in a way that rejects increasingly commercialized subcultural fashion trends.

NORMCORE Once upon a time people were born into communities and had to find their individuality. Today people are born individuals and have to find their communities. Mass Indie responds to this situation by creating cliques of people in the know, while Normcore knows the real feat is harnessing the potential for connection to spring up. It's about adaptability, not exclusivity. NORMCORE SITUATIONAL NON-DETERMINISTIC ADAPTABLE UNCONCERNED WITH AUTHENTICITY EMPATHY OVER TOLERANCE POST-ASPIRATIONAL YOUTH MODE: NORMCORE Normcore understands the process of differentiation from a nonlinear perspective. It's addicted to the toolkit provided by YOUTH MODE and never wants to put it away. Normcore doesn't want the freedom to become someone. Normcore wants the freedom to be with anyone. You might not understand the rules of football, but you can still get a thrill from the roar of the crowd at the World Cup. In Normcore, one does not pretend to be above the indignity of belonging. Normcore moves away from a coolness that relies on difference to a post-authenticity coolness that opts in to sameness. But instead of appropriating an aestheticized version of the mainstream, it just cops to the situation at hand. To be truly Normcore, you need to understand that there's no such thing as normal.

On April 11th, 2014, Oxford Dictionaries Blog uploaded a post titled, "Can -core survive normcore?" The post discussed the origins of the suffix "-core," calling it a libfix, meaning an affix and a suffix used interchangeably.[3] The article discusses the origins of the -core suffix as a way to differentiate different music genres in the 80s, with a particular intent to differentiate genres from the "mainstream." Early examples of this range from a way to denote the lyrics of a genre (queercore, horrorcore, Krishnacore), or the quality of the sound (emocore, Nintendocore) or denote a style in a humorous or mocking manner (cuddlecore, vomitcore).[3]


Normcore is defined by KnowYourMeme as "a humorous fashion trend in which artists and others associated with the "hipster" subculture emulate Middle Americans by wearing ordinary clothing with dull or muted colors." The word originated around the year 2014 and was first reported on by the trend-forecasting group "K-Hole Collective," before being covered in NY Magazine and GQ in February 2014.[4] [5]


Cottagecore is described by KnowYourMeme as "lifestyle aesthetic that romanticizes nature, whimsical clothing/items and homesteading." The word is described by the Aesthetics Wiki as a romanticization of and nostalgia for western agricultural life, simple living and harmony with nature. The term was popularised on Instagram and TikTok around the year 2020, but originated on Tumblr.[6]

collage of cottage aesthetic

The term is also described as an internet and visual-centered take on prior decorative, literary or historical trends. The term has also been criticized for its romanticization of Western pre-industrial life, simplifying and erasing histories of colonialism and undermining the labor of farmers. The aesthetic has also been supposedly coopted by the "TradWife" community.[7] [8]


Ussy refers to the suffix "-ussy," used to make portmanteaus with the word "pussy." The internet slang trend predates meme history, surfacing in LGBTQ+ discourse as early as the late 1980s with the word Bussy. Other iterations have since appeared like Nussy, Thrussy, Thussy and the meme template "Who need they pussy ate?" emerged in abundance in late 2021.

Search Interest

External References

[1] Dictionary – Mumblecore

[2] Urban Dictionary – Hardcore

[3] Oxford Dictionary Blog – Can -core survive normcore

[4] Β fn3. NY Mag – Normcore – Fashion for those who realize theyre one in 7 billion

[5] GQ – 10 Normcore essentials every man should have

[6] Aesthetics Wiki – Cottagecore

[7] Vox – Cottagecore

[8] New York Times – Cottagecore

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