Teach Me How To Cheugy
Basically, it’s a slang term cooked up by a high-schooler in the States, the word ‘cheugy’ now has worldwide acceptance. But what specifically is ‘cheugy’? And why do we even worry about it?
You may have learned the word ‘cheugy’ in recent weeks, as it has become used more on social media, but if this is your first time hearing the term, well, then you might be cheugy.
Cheugy is a term used to define a particular type of white woman. Not quite basic, and not quite uncool, but a fine average ground of someone who is just ever-so-slightly out of touch, as if they just missed the memo.
Still not assured what’s cheugy? It could be anything really. It’s a type of font, it’s “girl boss” energy, it’s Uggs and minions, but more than anything else, it’s an attitude. But soon after cheugy became cool; it too became cheugy.
“The irony is that once something becomes mainstream then, by definition, it becomes cheugy,”
Using the term cheugy has become cheugy. Reading this article: cheugy.
“Once something becomes mainstream, or becomes identifiable in popular culture, then it’s kind of immediately dismissed as past its due date.”
According to the word’s creator, software designer Gaby Rasson, ‘cheugy’ (pronounced ‘choo-gee’) was a term she invented at high school in 2013 to describe people who were “slightly off-trend” or “trying too hard”.
“It was a category that didn’t exist,” she told the New York Times. “There was a lacking term that was on the edge of my tongue and nothing to describe it and ‘cheugy’ came to me. How it sounded fit the meaning.”
Think of cheugy as an updated version of the word ‘basic’. In the TikTok video that has since gone viral, Hallie explains: “[Cheugy] is the opposite of trendy, was maybe stylish at secondary school, but is no longer in style.”
Creators of the term argue that there’s no gender connected with it, that anyone can be cheugy, we’ve noticed the term is most often targeting a specific type of person.
“I think it’s interesting because it’s definitely aimed toward affluent, white, millennial women,” because the word is kind of new in our lexicon, it seems more innocent than it actually could be.
As a word, it’s just a made-up word, so it doesn’t have that loaded history, which I guess makes it a little bit more acceptable.
Related: What Is Gaslighting?
Why ‘cheugy’ became so popular?
The long, open vowels mean that it reflects something a white Californian teenager would say (a subculture that has a lot of influence over mainstream trends in the USA and UK). So others subconsciously accept it as appropriate.
Notwithstanding its reasonably new popularity, TikTok already has a track record of seeing otherwise obscure things such as ‘cheugy’ become mainstream, says internet commentator and writer of the Garbage Day newsletter Ryan Broderick.
“Think of TikTok like a massive writers room, where everyone just throws something in and then things can get popular fast,” he says. “That’s the culture of TikTok; it’s not so much inventing brand new things but repurposing them, remixing them, recreating them.
TikTok’s algorithm optimizes for trends
It studies and finds content that can be copied and remixed for additional users. That’s why you see challenges or weird hand movements or people dressing up as a particular type of idea very often on your #ForYou page. Don’t know what #ForYou page is? You’re Cheugy.
These trends create subcultures fast.
“Everyone’s using the word cheugy, and it’s going to be everywhere for two months, it’s going to be written up in the New York Times, there’s going to be comments written up about that, there’s a secondary cycle of people talking about the word, which blows it even further, and then before the whole things over, we’ve got something new to talk about as the app’s algorithm is so aggressive.”
To avoid being cheugy, you must become one with the cheug.
Looking for other terms you may not understand? What is Simp? Check it out.