If you have ever found yourself doom scrolling through TikTok or Instagram Reels at three in the morning there is a good chance that you have been exposed to the term simp.
But what is a simp, and where did this new meme come from?
Simp or to simp in the verb form is a popular viral term on social media to describe people failing at love. If you want to know more about the meaning of being a simp or even how to be one, then read on. We have a great guide for you!
What is a Simp?
A simp is a negative term used on the internet to describe a man who panders to or acts submissive towards women in an attempt to gain their favour. It is a Gen Z term that was popularized on TikTok.
Simps are viewed as overly needy men who act in a flattering or extremely subservient way towards the female they idolize on the web. Often, the women are minor internet celebrities on services such as Twitch or Only Fans. Whilst it started as internet slang, the term is now used in popular offline culture as well.
A simp is someone who will act as a friend just to get into the person’s pants. For example, a guy may pay for his female friend’s ice cream, even though they’re friends, which is fine. But he does so only to make a move.
Simp can be used as both a noun, to describe someone who has the characteristics of a simp or a verb, to describe someone acting in a way that people would expect of a simp.
The word simp first appeared in mainstream internet culture in 2019 and has gained considerable popularity since. Everyone online, including megastar YouTuber Pewdiepie has had their take on what is simping and its meaning.
Simp slang really took off when the video platform TikTok started a hashtag known as #simpnation. Simp Nation was an opportunity for people (yes, women can simp too!) to tell tales about when they were a simp. This viral hashtag quickly permeated the platform, with millions of young people telling their stories of ‘simping’ for their crushes and being rejected in various situations.
The Origin of a Simp
The word started as either a portmanteau of the two terms ‘sissy’ and ‘pimp’ or an acronym for the phrase Sucker Idolizing Mediocre Pussy. Neither of which is particularly flattering to anyone involved.
However, the word itself is nothing new. People used the term simp throughout the 20th century as a shortened version of ‘simpleton’.
It was later picked up by the black community and is even referenced in the Three 6 Mafia song Sipping on Some Syrup. Here he says that ‘imma pimp, not a simp,’ clearly defining the term as something negative when it comes to finding a partner.
Later the anti-feminist group MGTOW, or Men Going Their Own Way, used the term to describe men who went against their belief that men do not need women in their lives. They started using the simp as a toxic slur against men they saw as pandering to women to gain their favour or attention.
Since then, it has grown popular in-stream chat rooms and social media comments when the scene turns more toxic. Some female personalities on platforms like TikTok or Twitch are accused of leading on their simps to earn more money from them in tips and donations.
Others are thought to have ‘an army of simps’ at their beck and call, which they use to harass people on the internet. There is little evidence of this, but some creators do understand the power of having an obsessive following behind them.
The History of the Simp and Other Toxic Male Slurs
To understand the origin of simps in internet culture it is important to identify the internet slang terms that came before and how they differ.
There have been many different insults and slurs thrown about at men on the internet almost since its conception. People like to be toxic to each other online when they feel a) they have complete anonymity and b) they have an audience. Webcomic Penny Arcade famously came up with a great internet theory describing just this phenomenon.
So, it is no great surprise that prior to simping, there were a whole host of insults that filled a similar role. Let’s dig into a few of them.
The White Knight
This term describes a man who feels the need to come to the aid of a woman online when she is, as he may perceive it, being unfairly attacked for her actions. Like the chivalrous heroes of old, a white knight will swoop into the chat to come to his ladies’ aid and lay an old-fashioned slap down on anyone who dares speak ill of his woman.
Of course, this was regardless of whether the woman in question wanted or required defending. Or even if she was actually being attacked at all. The White Knight would sometimes speak in overly flowery language and refer to the woman as, ‘milady’.
This has of course been thoroughly and ruthlessly mocked by the internet ever since and the term milady is now better known as a battle cry for fedora-wearing neckbeards.
The White Knight, much like the simp, does all of this because he is motivated by the belief that the woman he has defended should now feel eternally grateful for her ‘rescue’ and will repay him with kind words and of course, ultimately sex.
When things do not turn out this way, the White Knight will often turn a shade or two of grey and unleash his pent-up anger and frustration on the lady. It is a tale as old as time.
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The Orbiter is slightly different from the other terms on this list as it started off-line and refers to male friends who hang around their female friends in the hope of the friendship developing into a sexual one.
The Orbiter is not present for the enjoyment of the company of his friend but simply wants to be closest to her when she finds herself in need of a romantic partner and hopes to be chosen by the laws of proximity.
The Nice Guy
The Nice Guy is the Millenial version of the Simp. We should also acknowledge that whilst nice guys are prevalently seen as male, there are plenty of examples of women living up to this archetype.
The nice guy classically is someone who does what they perceive as ‘nice things’ for their crush with the unspoken expectation that this will result in immense gratitude and, of course, sex.
The stereotype is that the nice guy will often do kind things for their crush, but when they do not receive the gratitude they expect in return, they will explode in a torrent of passive-aggressive anger and toxic slurs, thereby revealing their true personality.
These are the dark heart of simping. Incels or Involuntary Celibates are what Simps, White Knights, and Nice Guys become when they lose all hope. They believe that they are simply unlovable and will never be able to find a romantic partner. Unfortunately, this tends to make them extremely bitter and toxic, often lashing out at women and other perceived simps alike.
Reddit has banned many of the incel hangouts on their site due to their extremely toxic behaviour and refusal to even recognize women as human.
How to Simp
For the most part, simping is probably something you want to avoid. But if you are keen on learning how to simp possibly to make sure you are not doing. Then here’s a quick guide.
First, find someone you crush on hard and obsess about them constantly. Then try and do ‘nice things’ for them to demonstrate your worthiness as a romantic partner.
Do your best to impress them and make sure you put all of their wants and desires before your own. Say things like ‘Aww, where’s my hug’ at awkward moments.
When they ultimately reject you, after making it extremely clear they were never interested. Make a sad TikTok about your experiences to curry further internet favour with others online.
Finally, move on and find someone else to obsess about. Congratulations, you are now a simp. Please accept your complimentary subscription to the female Twitch streamer of your choice.
Essentially, simping at its core is an inability to grow up and realize that not everybody will love you. Or that women are not slot machines into which you can put nice actions and expect sex in return.
As the term has started to move outside the internet and become more normalized, it has become more watered down. People now sometimes use it to describe their love for something, like coffee. Eventually, like all internet slang, it will fade and evolve into the next catchphrase with the upcoming generations.
Simp: Should You Be Offended?
Now you know what is a simp, should you get upset if someone calls you it online?
That very much depends on how sensitive you are and where the insult is coming from. If a bitter online incel calls you a simp, it would probably be best to let that roll off you and move on. However, if your online crush calls you a simp… well, then it might be time to reevaluate your actions.
If you are simping for this article and would like to read more like it, please head over to our meme blog for more great viral content.