Simp – Meaning, Origin and Usage

Are you looking for a way to tell someone that they’re pointlessly sucking up to a boy or girl they’re interested in? Do you want to let other members of your fandom know that you’re a super fan? In both cases, the slang “simp” can come in handy. This post unpacks the meaning and origin of the word.

​Meaning

The internet slang “simp” is currently most commonly used to refer to someone who goes to excessive lengths to get the attention or affection of someone they are (alleged to be) interested in romantically. The recipient is usually not interested.

Super fans, also known as stans, are also occasionally known to use the word “simp” to describe themselves.

“Simp” is almost exclusively used by members of Gen Z and Generation Alpha, typically as an insult. It can be used as a noun (“you are a simp”) or a verb (“I simp for him”), and the form “simping” is also in use.

An earlier incarnation of the slang term “simp” was instead used as an abbreviation for “simpleton”, in which case it could denote a (lovable) fool — Forrest Gump being a prime example.

​Example Usage

Have you seen the slang “simp” around, perhaps used in seemingly contradictory ways, and are you not sure what it means? These examples can shed some light on the context in which “simp” is currently in use:

  • “That guy gave me a stack of diamonds, five netherite ingots, and a beacon the first day I joined that Minecraft server and still gives me gifts every time I log on. He’s such a simp.”
  • “Yeah, I simp for Rhianna. She’s really cool.”
  • “No bro, I’m not simping, I’m just trying to help your sister get started on TikTok.”

​Origin

The earliest documented use of the slang “simp” dates back to the 1920s, when it was used as an abbreviation for “simpleton”, meaning someone who is not very bright. The word slowly fell out of use, and the abbreviation “simp” disappeared as well.

The contemporary meaning of “simp” likely has its roots in the word “sympathy” or “sympathetic”, and refers to someone who is excessively soft or relentless in pursuing a potential love interest by showering them with gifts or attention.

This modern meaning originated in the 1980s, when it was used as an antonym to “pimp” in rap culture.

“Simp” didn’t truly become popular until around 2019, however, when it quickly exploded as a ubiquitous internet slang. Nobody needs to spend long on TikTok, Twitter, Twitch, or indeed any other social media platform or multiplayer video game, before coming across the slang “simp”.

Simp was first defined on Urban Dictionary in 2020, as “a person who does way too much for someone they like”. Most of the other entries were added in the same year.

Although some people readily adopt the epithet to describe themselves, saying they simp for a girl or a celebrity, “simp” is primarily used as an insult.

​Words Similar to Simp

Instead of calling someone a simp, meaning someone who pays excessive attention to a love interest, you could also call them a suck-up.

Rather than using “simp” to refer to a super fan, you could also call a person a stan.

​Words Opposite to Simp

The slang term “simp” does not have any direct antonyms, so the closest you could come would simply be “not a simp”.

Since “simp” is used to mean someone who sucks up to a person by giving them excessive attention and gifts, however, another possible opposite might be “hater” — someone who offers negative or toxic attention.

​What Is the Correct Word?

The correct word is “simp”, meaning someone who tries to get someone to like them by showering them with excessive attention and gifts.

​Ways People May Say Simp Incorrectly

People should be aware that the slang “simp” does have slightly different meanings in each online community. In some cases, “simp” is taken to mean something positive, while “simp” exclusively serves as an insult in others.

Observe the context in which “simp” is used in any particular space to be on the safe side.

​Acceptable Ways to Phrase Simp

You could use the slang “simp” to insult someone who goes to pathetic lengths to get someone to like them, despite the fact that none of these efforts achieve the desired goal. In some cases, you can also use “simp” as a positive word, to indicate that you really like someone — as in “I simp for him”.

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