Examples of AAVE being used improperly

AAVE / African American Vernacular English

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Updated Mar 14, 2023 at 03:52PM EDT by Zach.

Added Mar 13, 2023 at 03:58PM EDT by sakshi.

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AAVE or African American Vernacular English is a phrase used to describe words and phrases often used in urban, working, and middle-class black communities. Frequent misuse of terms introduced by AAVE speakers and a wider adoption of select words by Gen Z internet users has led to controversy and memes over the years.


AAVE consists of specific words coined by and used amongst Black people, oftentimes with a grammatical structure and vocabulary unique and separate from English, allowing modern composition studies to categorize it as either an English dialect or a significant language on its own. The use of AAVE is sometimes misconstrued solely as Stan lingo, Gen Z slang or TikTok slang.

An early internet discussion about AAVE and its misuse took place in the Twitter replies and quote tweets of a post made by EDM artist Zedd on January 2nd, 2017, where he said, "It's 2017 / Can we pls stop saying "lit"? / Thanks."[1] The tweet gathered over 1,700 quote tweets and 7,000 likes in over five years (seen below).

Zedd It's 2017. Can we pls stop saying "lit"? Thanks. @Zedd Jan 2, 2017 550 mommy @aloomf ● t 4,695 7,715 3 1,520 Retweets 146 Quote Tweets 3,851 Likes ılı Replying to @Zedd it's 2017. Can we as a white population stop stealing Black vernacular and then get mad when we overuse it? Thanks. 2:14 PM Jan 2, 2017 : ...

Online Response

On September 19th, 2017, Twitter[2] [3] user @origamifirefly quote tweeted a since-deleted tweet by user @kennam27 which said, "Stan twitter culture is using the words "wig," "tea," "shook," "been knew," "sis," and "oomf" irl & no one knows what you're saying." The original tweet gathered over 36,000 likes before it was deleted (seen below, left), while @origamifirefly's tweet gathered over 8,600 likes in over five years (seen below, right).

Kenna @kennam27 Stan twitter culture is using the words "wig," "tea," "shook," "been knew," "sis," and "oomf" irl & no one knows what you're saying. 오후 4:32 - 2017년 9월 18일 Phoenix, AZ에서 15,962 리트윗 36,130 마음에 들어요 130 15,962 36,130 11( 팔로우 (80) ange min '남자든 여자든 랩으로 홍콩을 보내는 유연한 내 혀놀림' yoongi @origamifirefly stan twitter culture is thinking all these words are from stan twit and not aave Imao twitter.com/kennam27/statu... This Tweet is unavailable. 9:02 PM Sep 19, 2017 ... 3,716 Retweets 109 Quote Tweets 8,600 Likes

On December 3rd, 2018, Twitter[4] user @isaac_pdf posted a tweet that read, "AAVE gets swallowed up by meme culture and the end point is always white gays feeling protective over words they never created," gathering over 9,000 likes in over three years (seen below, left). On December 19th, 2018, the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Twitter[5] account published an apology for using AAVE terms to describe an otter as a "thicc girl," with the original tweet gathering over 51,000 likes in over three years (seen below).

Legentina Swaguilera @isaac_pdf AAVE gets swallowed up by meme culture and the end point is always white gays feeling protective over words they never created macgician when straight people say "let's get this bread" 2:40 PM Dec 3, 2018 This is gay bread. 2,576 Retweets 79 Quote Tweets 9,390 Likes : ...

In 2021, an SNL sketch titled "Gen Z Hospital" drew flack for mocking "Gen Z slang terms" that many commentators attributed to being AAVE lingo. A May 9th, 2021 tweet[6] by @bribrisimps criticized the sketch, gathering over 4,000 likes in over two years (seen below).

Various Examples

SOON dru momocon @druskiiiiiiii gen-z slang words....SIDE EYE Ô The Most Uniquely Popular GEN-Z SLANG WORD in Every State CALIFORNIA WASHINGTON simp OREGON boomer A pog. gers WYOMING SQUAD Hits MONTANA skrt NEVADA CLAP UTAH COLORADO hack dank ON ARIZONA ALASKA SLAY SAVAGE DIFFERENT FLEEK NEW MEXICO cringe NORTH DAKOTA boomer SOUTH DAKOTA CANCEL CULTURE NEBRASKA SQUAD TEXAS METHODOLOGY: We retrieved over 18 million geotagged tweets from every U.S. state using a curated selection of the most popular Gen-Z slang words. To find the most uniquely popular term in each state. we identified the word used locally at the highest rate compared to the national average for that word. MINNESOTA KANSAS MISSOURI Hits DIFFERENT FINNA 10:41 AM. Mar 9, 2023 750.7K Views The 'zoomer' generation includes those who were born after grunge but before Gangnam Style. Now that they are becoming adults, their generational argot is entering the mainstream faster than millennials and Gen-Xers can learn it. BASIC WISCONSIN poggers OKLAHOMA simp ON FINNA KIKI HAWAN Some words have successfully made the jump (cancel culture, twerk). But on fleek? This made-up word was first improvised by Chicago-area teen Kayla Newman on the video-sharing network Vine in 2014. It is now Gen-Z parlance for looking "just right" and is the most common zoomer slang in four states. ARKANSAS FLEEK LOWKEY ILLINOIS NO MICHIGAN CAP INDIANA KENTUCKY FINNA LOUISIANA MISSISSIPPI OHIO TENNESSEE boomer VERMONT SLAY ringe PENNSYLVANIA KEEP IT simp NEW HAMPSHIRE NEW YORK simp WEST twerk VIRGINIA ON FLEEK VIRGINIA simp ghosting ALABAMA SOUTH FINNA twerk CAROLINA GEORGIA FLORIDA NORTH CAROLINA KIKI 0000 Thenged under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alke GEN-Z MAINE Hits DIFFERENT NEW JERSEY MASSACHUSETTS CANCEL CULTURE RHODE ISLAND CONNECTICUT ON FLEEK DELAWARE MARYLAND Crossword SOLVER : randi ☆ @ultralovedeluxe I hate that aave got completely stolen & morphed into being gen z slang ret @rad_milk. May 26, 2022 deadass ong Low key Pam is kinda mid tho fr 4:07 PM May 28, 2022 385 Retweets 12 Quote Tweets 4,322 Likes prom song (gone gay) @scytheslayr Gen Z hospital is exactly how you all sound when using aave incorrectly.. OO 12:51 AM. May 9, 2021 82 1,346 Retweets 46 Quote Tweets 11.8K Likes 00 op 23 Hurt CoPain @Saeed DiCaprio calling it "gen z slang" is crazy FC fastcompany Gen Z Slang YOUR ONE-STOP, NO-JUDGEMENT GUIDE 9:10 AM Mar 9, 2023 1.9M Views . ... 1/6 (FC) fastcompany. Ate (and left no crumbs) IF YOU "ATE" SOMETHING, IT MEANS YOU EXECUTED IT EXTREMELY WELL, AND ADDING "LEAVE NO CRUMBS" MEANS YOU DID IT FLAWLESSLY. "Luis did so well in that presentation. He ate it up and left no crumbs." 2,654 Retweets 460 Quote Tweets 65.1K Likes : AB*RTED ANGEL @ILYPARVATI "yassss miss mama gurl purrrr chilly work hunty period sis" 7:39 PM Dec 20, 2020 - Twitter for iPhone 000 oh sis my wig is cinched my tea snatched we're serving WEAVE

Search Interest

External References

[1] Twitter – Zedd

[2] Twitter – origamifirefly

[3] Internet Archive – Twitter

[4]  Twitter – isaac_pdf

[5] Twitter – MontereyAq

[6] Twitter – bribrisimps

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