My College Students Keep Me Young…

One of the benefits of being around college students all the time is that I have a better chance of being up-to-date on pop culture.

And today’s class was a perfect example.

I had asked students to go into their Zoom breakout rooms and to come up with a list of people or companies who they believe do a good job using social media to promote themselves.

When they came back from the breakout rooms, they began sharing their lists. There were lots of good examples, some I was aware of, some I was not.

But one that stood out was when a student mentioned a singer who has become very popular thanks to her use of Tik Tok videos and other social media outlets to promote her music.

When I asked the student if he thought if her music was good, he said that most of her songs slap.

I replied that I was not familiar with the expression, but I took from the way he said it to mean that he thought her songs were good.

So at the end of the class, trying to use my newly discovered word, I wished all the students a good night and said that I hoped my class today was slap.

I also remarked that I had no idea if I was using the word the right way, but fortunately, the one student replied that I was.

So a few hours after class I decided to check out the singer (I’m holding off on revealing her name so that I can get a second blog post out of this for Music Monday) and I also decided to look more into the word slap.

Here’s what I found at

Slap is slang verb meaning “to be excellent or amazing.” It’s especially used to refer to a song someone finds extremely good, as in This song slaps!

Translation? When a track makes you want to get up and move, it slaps.

While especially used of music, slaps is sometimes extended to anything considered excellent or amazing, e.g., This pasta slaps, The new season of the show slaps.

The association of the word slap with great qualities isn’t brand spanking new, exactly. It was an adjective for “first-rate” in the mid-1800s and an adverb, meaning “excellently,” even earlier, in the mid-1700s.

Slap appears to start getting applied to music, specifically, by at least the early 2000s.

A song that slaps is one that has a prominent beat, perhaps as if its deep bass metaphorically slaps you in the face—or makes the speakers of your stereo thump when it’s cranked up nice and loud, so much so that it makes you slap the roof of your car in excitement.

Thanks to social media and the influence of hip-hop in popular culture, slaps became a part of the mainstream vernacular in the late 2010s.

So even though it may have been around for a few hundred years, it seems like I’m not too far behind in adding this word to my vocabulary. As I said, it’s one of the benefits of being around people who are attuned to such slang.

And if you are reading this, it’s a perfect opportunity for you to add this word to your vocabulary.

Just start telling everyone you know that the latest post at Borden’s Blather really slaps it…


56 thoughts on “My College Students Keep Me Young…

  1. So now you are going to be using new words too, like Tippy does! At least yours are a lot shorter and I have heard of the word before, though different definition. How am I supposed to keep up with you guys?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Interesting. It’s somewhat similar to the slang word, “clap.” So if your date was a slap, until you caught the clap, you might want to call the romance a wrap.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Oh yeah, I’ve been learning a couple new words myself like ‘simp’ and ‘yeet’. Interesting how these terms originate and catch on. But yeah, I have to say that this article slaps. Thanks, Jim!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. This reminds me of my work in progress. I’m writing for middle school grades and there is a lot of dialogue between the kids. That means lots of slang. I’m consulting my friends who have children this age, so I don’t sound like a complete bozo. Nothing like older guys like us trying to be hip, Jim. 😎

    Liked by 4 people

  5. This made me think of “slapping” the bass. A technique used to give the bass a more unique and driving sound in music. Well, I have learned something new today, so I am taking the rest of the day off!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’ve heard that phrase before, and thought it just meant that the bass player would just hit the instrument every once in a while. I hope you enjoyed the rest of your day off 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m feeling so old right now! I’ve never heard my daughters say this – I’ll ask them next time I see them. I thought it might be rhyming slang…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ll drop ‘slap’ on my kids and see if I get a raised eyebrow. I’ve never heard either of them use it, and we talk about music all the time. Will be an interesting experiment. Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

  8. A great post, Jim. The only slaps I clearly remember from my childhood, are the ones my mother dished out. Oh, and Dame Slap from Enid Blyton’s Enchanted Wood books but she’s been reduced to a mere Dame Snap lately due to the delicate constitutions of youngsters today who can’t deal with corporal punishment, even as a thought.


  9. Working with college students gives me fresh perspective on life. Some of the articles in my website are written by students with very strong academic backgrounds. Do give it a read. They have some of the best content. #mywordskraft

    Liked by 1 person

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