What does “Bop” mean on the Internet?

Woman dancing to music in a living room.

Did someone on the internet ask you to recommend a good bop? get you playlists finished! Here’s what this fun, music-related slang term means and how you can use it online.

great songs

“Bop” is an online slang term meaning “a good song”. People use it in social media posts and text messages to describe a song they really liked. When you call a song a bop, you also want to say that it is great to dance to, as opposed to soft and somber music. For example, if you really enjoyed the latest Dua Lipa hit, you could say “that new Dua Lipa song is a bop!” You can also say something is “not bop” if you don’t really enjoy it or if you don’t think it is suitable for dancing.

The term has in recent years been closely associated with “stan“culture, a kind of internet fandom that revolves around supporting a specific artist. You’ll often see self-proclaimed stans refer to songs by their favorite artists as “bops,” often to promote those songs to others.

The Origin of Bop

A jazz band performing in a nightclub.

Unlike other slang terms we’ve covered, the term “bop” is significantly older than the Internet. According to Vocabulary.com, “bop” is a reference to the sound made when you lightly hit someone. The association with music came in the 1940s, as a shortened version of the jazz term ‘bebop’. Bebop is a form of jazz with fast tempos, complex harmonies and constant improvisation. It was also a popular form of swing dance in the 1950s.

Later, the word “bop” spread to the mainstream and became synonymous with fast, dance-like music. As a result, the term is used in many songs, including Hanson’s 1997 hit “MMMMBop” and DaBaby’s 2019 song “Bop”.

However, “bop” as a musical slang online is quite recent. The first entry for the word in the online slang repository urban dictionary is from 2016 and reads: “used to refer to a good song; to say a song is really good.” It’s especially popular on Twitter, where “stans” from artists would proclaim their songs to be bops, also in line with a recent surge in critical acclaim for pop music.

What counts as a “Bop?”

Although the word is a general description of good music, not every song can be called a ‘bop’. While there are no exact written criteria for what counts as a bop, there are a few traits that bops have in common. Nowadays, bops are usually fun, dance-like and upbeat, rather than softer and softer songs. They also come from specific genres, such as pop, R&B, hip-hop and electronic music.

However, like many slang terms, people on the internet also use “bop” ironically. They might say a song is a “bop” despite it being slow, long and impossible to dance to. For example, you will find: TikToks referring to various folk songs or classical pieces as ‘bops’, often for comic effect.

There are a few other internet slang terms you can use to praise a song. While these terms are very similar to bop, they have some key differences. Usually used for rock and hip-hop music, “Banger” refers to “head banging” – a movement you make with your head when listening to an intense part of a song.

There’s also “limp,” which is a more generic term than “banger” or “bop.” For example, you might say “this song hits” when you hear a great song on the radio. Another distinction is that “slap” and “banger” can refer to other media, such as movies, TV shows, and art. Bop almost always refers to music.

How Bop . to use

If you want to use bop in your tweets and private messages, it’s pretty simple. Just use it to refer to songs you like to dance to. Here are a few examples of “bop” in action:

  • ‘What’s the song playing now? This is a blast!”
  • “Wow, her new single is a bop. I bet it’s going to be a hit.”
  • “The new album is full of bops.”
  • “I’m disappointed his new song isn’t a bop.”

Are you interested in adding more internet terms to your vocabulary? View our explanation on OGcapand “touch grass”, and you’ll be an internet language expert in no time!

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