Back to School Necklace – Meaning, Origin and Usage

Are you looking through Twitter and notice people posting images of a ‘back to school necklace?’ What are they talking about, and should you worry about your children going back to school?

This post unpacks the meaning and origin of this expression.


The expression ‘back to school necklace’ means a ‘hangman’s noose.’ A back-to-school necklace is a teen code for committing suicide by hanging because you must go back to school. Teens joke with each other when using the term and are rarely serious about hanging themselves.

They use the term to describe the feelings of depression they face when returning to school after having fun during the summer vacation. Returning to the classroom after having time off is too much to bear for teens who just want to have fun in life.

Teens usually post a picture of a hangman’s noose and the caption or hashtag, ‘back to school necklace.’ It shows their followers what they think of having to return to school. In many cases, the user publishes an image of a noose for sale in an online listing with websites like amazon.

Example Usage

"This is the last week of the summer before school starts. It's been so fun to hang out with everyone, and I'm so bummed we have to go back to school tomorrow. Someone hand me the back-to-school necklace."

"I think I'm going to go online and order a back-to-school necklace. I can't stand the thought of spending another semester in that place."

"That back-to-school necklace is looking mighty good right now. I can't believe the summer is over; it went by so fast."

"Let's all order a back-to-school necklace and commit suicide at the same time in our rooms. Life's not worth living no the summers over."

"The thought of going back to school has my stomach-turning. I'm halfway to ordering a back-to-school necklace, so I don't have to go."

"If you don't want to go back to school, you always have the option of the back-to-school necklace. Personally, I think that's a bit of an overreaction."

"I swear I'm going home and ordering a back-to-school necklace. This is it, I've had enough fun this summer, and it's time to end things before we have to go back."


The expression ‘back to school necklace’ originates from social media. However, meme experts are unsure of when the term first appeared online. The earliest known reference to the phrase comes from the Urban Dictionary on October 13, 2016.

However, the phrase appeared on social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram in 2020, possibly as a reference to kids returning to school in the wake of the lockdowns in 2020 and 2021.

Phrases Similar to Back to School Necklace

  • Back to school bummer.

Phrases Opposite to Back to School Necklace

  • I can’t wait to go back to school.

What is the Correct Saying?

  • Back to school necklace.

Ways People May Say Back to School Necklace Incorrectly

The phrase ‘back to school necklace’ doesn’t describe a necklace or jewelry. It refers to a hangman’s noose. It’s a way to voice your disappointment at having to go back to school after the summer.

Acceptable Ways to Phrase Back to School Necklace

You can use the phrase ‘back to school necklace’ if you’re a teenager attending high school. Teens usually dislike school, and it can be a trying time in life when these individuals are coming of age. The increase in hormonal activity makes them prone to overly-emotional responses to a stimulus like the depression of going back to school.

Most people that use the term do so with a comical reference. They are not saying they’ll kill themselves. They’re saying they can’t stand the thought of going back to school after the fun they had during the summertime. The phrase suits social use in text and face-to-face conversations. In most cases, it features in communications between friends or peers.

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