Butt Hurt – Meaning, Origin and Usage

Are you looking for a way to describe your friend's behavior after they experience an outcome they didn’t expect? You could say they’re “butt hurt” at the result. This post unpacks the meaning and origin of this expression.


The expression “butt hurt” is slang, and a popular word in the gaming community and on online message boards, chat rooms, and streaming chats. If someone is “butthurt,” they are sulking about something that happened to them where they feel they got a bad result or decision against them.

For instance, if you beat your friend at a video game after he told you he would win, he could feel “butt hurt” when you start laughing at him at the end of the game. It’s an overly emotional response and somewhat childish behavior.

It shows that the person refuses to accept responsibility for the result and that they hold you in contempt and responsible for their failure.

Example Usage

“Look at Jimmy over there sulking. What is he looking so butt hurt about? What did you guys do to him to make him look so distraught?”

“John was in my face all month telling me how he was ahead of me on the sales leaderboard. That big client last week took me into month-end ahead of him. Now he’s all butt hurt because I won the bonus and not him.”

“Stop acting so butt hurt over everything. It was just a video game. So what if I beat you? Is it really that big a deal to you?”

“Stop behaving like a baby. Acting butt hurt about this is for kids, and you’re a grown man, for gosh sake.”

“I corrected him about his error in public. Now he’s all mad and butt hurt at me. He says I embarrassed him in public, and he won’t forgive me.”

“This guy acts like a child. He’s refusing to speak to us because he’s all butt hurt about me beating him on the golf course last weekend.”


The expression "butt hurt" originates from the act of spanking a child. The first iteration of the saying appeared in print in the late Nineties. The website of the Swiss surrealist painter, H. R. Giger, saw the following comment entered into its archives in 1998.

"Hollywood has tossed Giger for more talented artists, and even those artists who can emulate his style, without the tears and the hurt butts."

Giger was most known for his work on the "Alien" film franchise. The comment references him being left out of the credits for his work on the second and third films.

"Butt-hurt" first appeared in the "Online Slang Dictionary" in January 1999. Its definition was "a small slight or friendly insult."

Since being listed in the Urban Dictionary in late 2001, the term amassed over 30 definitions.

Phrases Similar to Butt Hurt

  • Sulking.
  • Immature behavior.

Phrases Opposite to Butt Hurt

  • Gracious in defeat.
  • A class act.

What is the Correct Saying?

  • Butt hurt.
  • Butthurt.

Ways People May Say Butt Hurt Incorrectly

Some people may assume “Butt hurt” has a sexual connotation. It is incorrect to use the phrase to describe a sore rear end after a sexual encounter. Using Butt hurt to explain how your backside feels sore after being spanked is not the correct use of the saying.

Acceptable Ways to Phrase Butt Hurt

You can use “butt hurt” when someone looks like they took offense to something you said or did, but they should brush it off and get on with their life. You’re telling them they should stop acting immaturely, realize their error or defeat, and move on with things. The phrase suits social and professional use.

You could say that your friend is feeling butt hurt after outperforming them at a task or action. They were probably bragging about how they would do better than you, and now they are sulking at losing to you. You could say that a colleague in the sales team is feeling butt hurt after you beat them in the monthly sales challenge after they were expecting to win.

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