Defining ‘simp’ in 2022 - Bubblegum Club

Defining ‘simp’ in 2022

Definition of Simp


“a foolish or stupid person”: see Simpleton.

Simp is a slang insult for men who are seen as too attentive and submissive to women, especially out of a failed hope of winning some entitled sexual attention or activity from them.”

Sucker Idolizing Mediocre Pussy.



The origins of the slang word “simp” are dated further back than one might think or believe. The term has made its way through cultural spaces such as the hip hop world and, more recently, the digital world.

It’s unclear when the term was exactly formed, but in 1999, released in 2000, Three 6 Mafia released a song titled: “Sippin’ on some syrup” where they use the lyrics: “I’m trill working the wheel, a pimp, not a simp.”

Then, in 2005, the word was added to Urban Dictionary with the definition: “A guy who tags along with hot girls because he thinks it will get him laid.” Along with its associated acronym, this word gained some popularity, especially in the 2010s. DJ Akademiks from his earlier YouTube days posted a video titled “Drake is official King Of The Simps.” in which he referred to Drake as “overly emotional.” The word hasn’t surged before as it has in the years 2018 – 2022.


Recently, the word “simp” has found itself being used in different contexts, with different intentions and ironic or unironic explanations and understandings. Keeping close to the original definition of the word, users took to their keyboards to call men like Will Smith, Kanye West, Russell Willson, and Prince Harry (amongst many others) simps because of the behaviour they have exhibited on behalf of their partners.

People called Will Smith a simp for slapping Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars to defend his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith because they viewed Jada as someone unworthy of defending because of her interactions and past thoughts and ideas with men she has engaged with in some capacity, like August Alsina and the deceased Tupac Shakur.

People called Prince Harry a simp for moving countries and publically defending and departing from his family for his wife, saying that it is simp behaviour to let a “girl” get in the way of you and your family. Whatever it was, the term surge in the last five years was used to assign an interpretation to men. The word itself has very strong ties to people who are men and has architected a sort of worldview that men have of themselves, their relationships, and the overall world around them. 




Language is a tool that requires meaning, and for that to happen, we human beings: the bearers of our own language and its use, need to assign meaning to the words and sentences we arrange. This means our relationship to language is incredibly important and the way we use words has an incredible influence on our social culture and conceptualizations. Simp is a great example of this.

The way that people (men, women, non binary alike) make use of the word has an influence on how we see ourselves, and other people, and, due to the nature of the word, how we view our relationships with other people. The word has historically been used to demean someone or something, and that has not changed. As explained earlier, recently, the word “simp” has been used to be derogatory toward a certain display of vulnerability that men have displayed on behalf of their partners, who are usually women.


It’s known across cultures that due to patriarchal messages, the masculine archetype requires a hardness that cannot be empathetic to the vulnerability those men have expressed. It’s natural for this very embedded idea to transform itself over time, as now these misogynistic ideas have been packaged into this very word, simp. An attack on men who dare to soften up for the sake of a woman, even if these are women with whom they have emotional bonds. However, simp has also been used differently.

In another article titled: “Defining gen z emoji language” written by myself, I touch on the personalisation and interaction of language that is closely tied to generational characteristics, specifically Gen z. With the word “simp,” the interpretation is closely tied to Gen Z and millennial ideas and innovations. Currently obsessed with irony use, Gen Z has “reclaimed” the word. People from various fandoms express how much they simp for their favourite fictional characters and celebrities, and it’s layered in a way that says “yes, I am a fool for this person. Anyday and anytime.”

Couples (especially men) have expressed that they simp for one another and have crushes. Thus, the context changes and expands the initial worldview of attacking a vulnerability in men in a spiel of toxic masculinity repackaged, but also creates a space where it is positive to use as it is a proud proclamation of some sense of devotion tied to vulnerability expression.



To conclude…

Black feminist, American scholar and activist bell hooks says: ““True love does have the power to redeem, but only if we are ready for redemption. Love saves us only if we want to be saved.”

Vulnerability is closely tied to the scariest parts of our humanity, which is the admission of our deepest desires to care and love. Repackaging something as violent as misogyny into this quick “fun” word does a disservice to what is possible in the landscape of forming fulfilling emotional connections not only with ourselves but with others.

However, there is some redemption available here as the word continues to evolve and reclamation takes place, which would assist in building feminist futures and creating more positive possibilities in our interpersonal relationships as non binary, women and men alike. 



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