Before defining the slang term Hollaback Girl, “hollaback” must be understood first.
When someone “hollabacks”, it means that they are responding to a negative comment, insult with their own verbal insult.
However, a “hollaback girl” is not necessarily a nickname anyone would like to be called.
A “hollaback girl” is no more than someone who just talks and throws around some negative comments, but never acts in these types of situations.
The phrase was originally popularized by the American singer and songwriter, Gwen Stefani in the early 2000s.
Hollaback Girl, the song that became influential and ground-breaking in the 1980s hip-hop and dance music culture, was one of the songs on her debut solo album Love. Angel. Music. Baby. (2004).
The song was inspired by Courtney Love’s interview for 17 magazine, in which she made a comment about Stefani.
Love stated, “Being famous is just like being in high school. But I’m not interested in being the cheerleader. I’m not interested in being Gwen Stefani. She’s the cheerleader, and I’m out in the smoker shed.”
As a response, the song was made and in explanation of that Stefani said, “Someone one time called me a cheerleader, negatively, and I’ve never been a cheerleader. So I was like ‘Ok, fuck you, you want me to be a cheerleader? Well, I’ll be one then. And I’ll rule the whole world.'”
Spread and Usage
The song “Hollaback Girl” gained a global presence, as well as the slang term.
It also received many awards and nominations throughout the years, such as Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and Record of the Year.
The earliest entry on Urban Dictionary about the term was already submitted after a couple of weeks of the song’s appearance, hence its instant popularity online.
- Urban Dictionary – Holla back