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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 “an irreducible nucleus or residuum; also a stubborn or unyielding minority.” The word hardcore was added to Urban Dictionary by the user Sooper on June 9th, 2002.
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.
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. 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).
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. 
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.
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. 
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.
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