It feels as though with every passing week we have a new slang term to define an age-old tradition – here’s looking at you, YOLO – and one of the latest to make it into the urban dictionary is “simp”. You may have heard of, or seen the term used on social media platforms such as TikTok. But if you’ve spent time anywhere on the internet in recent recent, there’s probably a good chance you’ve come across the term.
But have you wondered what is means to be a simp or where the word simp came from? You may be surprised to learn it actually has historical origins, for starters. Fast-forward to today and we now even have a “simp challenge” on TikTok.
Read on to find out the true simp meaning, it’s history and how it’s used today.
In this simp story…
What Does Simp Stand For?
According to dictionary.com’s slang dictionary, simp stands for “Sucker Idolising Mediocre P*ssy” however, the word simp has actually been around for more than 100 years.
What Does Simp Mean?
According to its slang definition, a simp is someone who’s thought to be overly invested in a woman and acts submissive to them or who does too much in hopes of dating them (especially when the woman isn’t interested).
The most popular definition on Urban Dictionary (out of 469 pages worth of definitions) is from Pimpinnotsimpin, who described it as “Someone who does way too much for a person they like”, giving the example of
“Brian shu the simp: I bought her a car and a whole ass house and we not even dating!
Nathan the pimp: U a simp.”
The word has quite a resemblance to the term “nice guy”, which has been quite commonly used over the last decade or so.`
The Origins of Simp
Simp can first be traced back to 1903, when it was listed as an official shortening of “simpleton” (an insulting way to call someone stupid) in the New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English and appeared in the New York Times as far back as 1923.
It began being used in hip hop in the 80s by rappers such as E-40 and Too Short with the connotation of someone being ‘soft’ and ‘overly sympathetic’.
The word then saw a comeback in the 2000s after the release of Sippin’ On Some Syrup by Three 6 Mafia, which opens with the bars “I’m trill working the wheel, a pimp, not a simp / Keep the dope fiends higher than the Goodyear Blimp.”
It then fell out of mainstream use (but still saw some use in “incel” and “manosphere” forums) until December 2019, when TikTok user polo.boyy uploaded a video where he welcomed guys who comfort females ranting about relationship problems to what he called “simp nation”.
The video got over 166,000 likes and over 800 comments in two weeks and kick-started the resurgence of the use of simp, with the hashtag now having over 21.4B views on TikTok.
Simp Nation TikTok Challenge
Simp Nation is a trend on TikTok, which follows polo.boyy’s format of explaining a situation that will wind them up in the ‘Friend Zone’ and welcoming that person to “simp nation” while a mashup of Rockstar by Post Malone and Hey Ya by Outkast plays in the background. The hashtag #simpnation now has over 550 million views on TikTok.
Yet more evidence to prove that simp has been truly adopted by Generation Z is the fact that a particular emoji. Known officially as the Pleading Face emoji, it is often used by someone trying to win compassion or sympathy from the person they’re sending it to.
It’s because of this reasoning that some people online suggest it can be associated with guys who are simps, because they’re attempting to come across as emotional and sensitive in order to win a woman’s affection.
Simp vs Incel
The main difference between a simp and an incel is that a simp is someone who will make overly romantic or nice comments to a girl online, or do anything for her, in the hope of receiving attention and affection. An incel wants sex or a relationship from a girl, but doesn’t get it, and so then blames women as the overarching reason.
The words simp and Incel are often used interchangeably. If you’ve not heard of incel before, it stands for ‘Involuntary Celibate,’ and essentially means a man who wants sex but rarely gets it, usually as a result of toxic behaviour, i.e. he expects to get sex from a woman simply by being nice towards her.
Both simps and incels tend to have the same ulterior motive however, and that is to receive something from a girl just because they are nice and complimentary towards her.
Simps & Nice Guy Syndrome
A simp could also be viewed as someone who exhibits what is known as Nice Guy Syndrome, a term that was originally floated around in the early 2000s. Nice guy syndrome is a topic all in itself, but essentially it refers to a man who will act nicely towards a female in the hope it will eventually lead to a romantic connection.
There is separation to be made between ‘Nice Guys’ and guys who are just genuinely nice. To help indicate the difference, those in the former camp are referred to as Nice Guys™️, with the trademark symbol. According to Geek Feminism the definition of Nice Guy Syndrome is “men who view themselves as prototypical ‘nice guys,’ but whose ‘nice deeds’ are in reality only motivated by attempts to passively please women into a relationship and/or sex.”
Nice guy syndrome can often be subject of debate because women will often say they’re looking for a “nice guy” as opposed to a guy who exhibits f**kboy behaviours. So, when a guy is nice to a woman, but doesn’t end up with a relationship or romantic encounter, he may end up making comments that offend the woman. Some may consider this a good example of double standards in the world of love.
So there you go, you can now proudly tell everyone you know what a simp is.