Wack – Meaning, Origin and Usage

Are you displeased with something you have received? Maybe your friends played a joke on you that you don’t appreciate? Perhaps you just want a phrase that expresses your feelings without being overly verbose.

If so, then wack is a great phrase that will let others know just how you feel.

This post unpacks the meaning and origin of this expression.


Wack is a simple way to say something is undesirable or unwanted via slang. Anything that is considered lame, stupid, lousy, out of date, or dumb can be considered wack. This slang terminology is pretty universal and can be used to describe people, places, actions, or even events. While meant to insult when used, it is not always a directly insulting term.

The slang term wack is often mistaken for whack. Although they sound the same, whack means to hit or strike, while wack means unworthy or crummy. It is important to not only look at the context when using this word but also what the term is being used in reference to when assuming its meaning. More information can be found in the video (here).

Example Usage

“I don’t know why you are always playing wack practical jokes on me, they are not funny”.

“There is nothing worth seeing at that concert, their music is wack and their dance moves are wack”.

“Putting the food back after taking a bite is so wack. You know it’s going to be thrown away in the end”.

“Wearing a tank top under a heavy coat is so out of fashion, it makes you look wack and out of date”.

“Your taste in music is simply wack. You only like things from 20 years ago that were not even trendy then”.

Origin of Wack

There is new slang created just about every generation. Some slang terms originate= in specific cultures, while others are based on certain languages. Wack is a slang term that originated in the English language and was first seen in print in 1984. The phrase came about around the start of the 1980s among teenagers. It was used as a way to verbally express displeasure with one’s situation, style, or something that was seen. The slang term found its way into popular music of the time, especially into early rap and hip hop. The slang term is still found in music today and is used quite commonly in casual conversations.

Phrases Similar to Wack

  • Dumb
  • Trashy
  • Bush-league
  • Lousy
  • Stupid
  • Crummy
  • Bunk
  • Lame
  • Dumbass

Phrases Opposite to Wack

  • Dope
  • Fly
  • Respectable
  • Cool
  • Wanted
  • Popular
  • Desirable
  • Passable
  • Trendy
  • Hip

What is the Correct Saying?

  • The proper way to say wack, is wack. It means not desirable.

Ways People May Incorrectly Say Wack

Wack is always used in a negative fashion, as such, it is hard to use incorrectly. However, if someone is not used to using the slang vernacular, it is easy to make mistakes. Many people will use wack instead of whack, but the word has a different meaning. Some ways that Wack is used incorrectly are:

  • Getting first place is pretty wack, we should use the same strategy next game.
  • I like being wack, it gets me a lot of friends with very little effort.
  • Try being wack for a change, you never know, you just may like it.
  • Just wack that bug with a shoe and be done with it.
  • Trying wacking the top of the TV to get the channel to work.

Acceptable Ways to Phrase Wack

  • Those options are pretty wack, there is nothing good that will come out of them.
  • Your choice in men is wack as hell.
  • It’s so wack that you keep chasing after her even though she keeps turning you down.
  • Stop being so wack and get your shit together so we don’t get fired.
  • Your style of outfit for the club is beyond wack, you look like a middle aged manager.


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