Werk is an exclamation phrase given when congratulating someone on doing something that shows vigor and vitality.
It is a expression of approval, often used when commenting on pictures and videos on social media platforms.
The expression is regularly seen on dancing videos, influencer and modelling pictures, fitness posts and similar. It is mainly given from woman to woman.
While it mainly means “work”, it has become an expression for “cool” or “great”. It can also be a term of encouragement, used to motivate people to keep doing a good job.
Origin of the term
This internet slang is a Dutch and Afrikaans term, not surprisingly meaning “work”.
According to Google Trends, the use of the term as slang started occurring around the early 2000’s, and has gradually increased since.
Spread of the term
House band CID released their single “Werk” in 2018, their music video including a woman twerking. Here, the term acts as a form of wordplay between “work” and “twerk”.
Others took the same inspiration, and numerous EDM, house and techno artists have released music with the same title afterwards.
On Instagram, the slang has been tagged over 3.8 million times, usually on posts featuring fashion, fitness or various activities.
- Urban Dictionary – Werk