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 dictionary.com:
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…