Deadass

Slang to show someone is serious or not joking.

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"You need to stop filming me without my permission. Deadass!"

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History and usage

"Deadass" is a term deeply rooted in the cultural lexicon of urban communities, particularly in the northeastern United States, notably New York City. Originating from African American Vernacular English (AAVE), "deadass" serves as a versatile slang word with multiple meanings depending on context.

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Primarily used as an adverb or adjective, it often conveys sincerity, emphasis, or seriousness. The term's etymology traces back to the early 1990s, gaining prominence in hip-hop and rap culture before permeating broader youth discourse. Its exact origins are uncertain, but it likely emerged from the fusion of "dead" (meaning "completely" or "extremely") and "ass" (intensifier), reflecting the linguistic creativity inherent in African American communities.

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Over time, "deadass" has evolved beyond its literal meaning to encompass a range of emotions, attitudes, and assertions. Whether affirming a statement ("I'm deadass serious"), expressing incredulity ("Deadass?"), or conveying agreement ("Deadass, that's true"), the word has become a staple of urban dialogue, reflecting authenticity and candor.

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Its widespread usage across social media platforms further solidifies its place in contemporary vernacular, transcending geographical boundaries and cultural barriers. Despite its informal origins, "deadass" carries significant cultural weight, serving as a linguistic marker of identity and solidarity within diverse communities. As language continually evolves, "deadass" stands as a testament to the dynamic nature of slang, constantly adapting and reshaping to reflect the lived experiences and expressions of those who use it.

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