Deadass is used as a slang expression for being serious… dead serious. It is mostly associated with New Yorker black slang, where its prevalence is the highest.
Deadass can be traced back into the 60’s, where it has been used as a term for boring people. Dead here referred to the inactivity of the mentioned person.
Its contemporary meaning roots in the 90’s, where dead had morphed from boring to completely serious. We can see the parallel of how hip hop culture and the term spread at the same time, around the early 2000’s.
In both cases, ass was used as a suffix, adding some street flavor to the whole expression to the term.
Spread and Usage
In 2016, the already widespread use of deadass has seen its peak, when Reddit users started posting memes, mocking “that typical NYC guy” that wears Timberland boots, Yankees caps and uses deadass as every second word.
Following Reddit, these memes had spread onto social media, such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The consequence of this was that people who overused deadass had been made fun of by others.
- The Daily Dot – What does ‘deadass’ mean, and where did it come from?