Every now and then, strange words seem to enter the vernacular that makes absolutely no sense and require advanced explanation. A perfect example of this phenomenon is the word “yeet,” a word that is extremely popular amount today’s middle school and high school students, as well as some college students.
What Does Yeet Mean?
Essentially, yeet means, “To throw,” but it also has more meanings. Urban dictionary defines it as getting rid of an item at high speed, or as quickly as humanly possible. Some people also use it to express joy or excitement, but this is a less popular meaning. Urban dictionary also notes that the expression “Yeet yeet yeet!” has become synonymous with a victory.
It is typically used as an active verb. Like other verbs, yeet as numerous alternatives and tenses, including yeeted, yeeting, and potentially yote. Yeet may also be used as a noun, although the word is usually changed in that instance, being used as “Yeetus,” meaning someone who throws something.
The expression has also broken into popular games like “Fall Guys,” which recently introduced the “Big Yeetus” into one of its games. Big Yeetus is a giant, spinning hammer that will yeet players out of the area of play if it connects with them.
When Did This Word Start Being Used?
Yeet is obviously a slang word, one that has been around since the mid-2000s. From a historical perspective, yeet was first invented around 2014, when it was used to refer to a specific type of dance. Like many popular slang words of this era, the word was popularized thanks to social media, and in this case, a Vine, which was a popular short-form video platform that looped videos for a six-second period. It then morphed into a popular exclamation, before changing again into the form that typically involves something being thrown. The reasoning for this change is unknown, as is its exact time period, although some say this started to occur around 2017.
However, some evidence indicates the word may have been used as far back as 2004, although less history of the word use from that time period is used.
How Do You Use It?
In its most common expression, you would use yeet to describe something being thrown out. “I yeeted that cardboard box right onto the fire,” would be a good example. However, like most slang words, there are also a variety of creative methods of using it. Examples:
- If you are in a situation where you don’t want to be: “Let’s yeet right out of here.”
- As an exclamation: “Yeeeeeeet!” This is usually used as an expression of excitement or joy.
- You could also use it to request someone throw something at you: “Hey, Craig, yeet me that soda can?”
Appropriate use of the word yeet almost always implies speed, high velocity, or sudden emotions.