What does ‘Based’ mean on TikTok? And how to use the slang!

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Photo by Alexander Shatov on Unsplash

The meaning of the slang ‘based’ has changed for TikTok. Scroll below to find out what does it actually means now.

What does ‘Based’ mean on TikTok?

Dictionary.com explains that, at first, being based meant being addicted to cocaine. But recently, the meaning of the slang was changed by the rapped Lil B and now it means “being yourself and not caring what others think of you—to carry yourself with swagger.”

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The slang dictionary further explains that ‘Based’ has been appropriated by the alt-right online as a general term of praise, as if “un-woke.”

Urban Dictionary has a few meanings but they all say the same thing. Here is a detailed explanation of the slang –

A word used when you agree with something; or when you want to recognize someone for being themselves, i.e. courageous and unique or not caring what others think. Especially common in online political slang.

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The opposite of cringe, some times the opposite of biased.

The latter usage is the original use as coined by rapper Lil B, and the word originally took off on the meta-ironic website 4Chan with the latter meaning. For that reason the word is largely used meta-ironically (without context you can’t tell if it’s being used ironically or sincerely as it’s used in both ways) and was popularized in online political slang of conservatives and the political right before being adopted into mainstream online political slang (likely through shitposting websites or subreddits such as r/politicalcompass memes that are similar to 4chan in their meta-irony and “edginess” but contain a wider variety of political beliefs) and eventually adopted into general online vernacular.

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When used in online political language it can mean “based in fact” or the opposite of biased due to the number of people who saw it being first used seriously by the online political right and came to the conclusion that is was related to the phrase “destroyed with facts and logic” in reference to right wing personality Ben Shapiro.

Example 1: meta-ironic
Shitposter: Posts gif of funny monkey Return to monke
Commentor: Based
Example 2: meta-ironic
4chan Anon 1: I’m going to commit hate crimes
4chan Anon 2: Based
Example 3: Politics
Leftist 1: There is no ethical consumption under capitalism.
Leftist 2: Based.

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In short, this is what ‘based’ means –

The opposite of cringe

How TikTokers are using it

If you are still confused, you can go through the hashtag #based where you will find millions of videos on TikTok.