What ‘Bussin’ Means On TikTok

TikTok’s influence on the world is nothing new. Heck, The New York Times wrote about its influence in 2019. “It’s been a while since a new social app got big enough, quickly enough, to make nonusers feel they’re missing out from an experience. If we exclude Fortnite, which is very social but also very much a game, the last time an app inspired such interest from people who weren’t on it was … maybe Snapchat?” they explained.

And they’re right. It feels strange that this network grew so quickly, and yet it did. Now, it’s only grown bigger. Its culture — and subculture — has become its own thing, which includes bolstering the usage of words like “bussin.” According to Popbuzz, bussin “is a word that frequently pops up on TikTok, and it means that something is really good.” It’s used to describe food, per The Focus, meaning one would say that their dinner was bussin if it was really good.

However, controversy surrounds the word because of its origins. The word is part of African American English Vernacular (AAVE), and it’s problematic when the word is displaced and used to describe matters other than food. This is the case with TikTok, where people will say an outfit, for example, is bussin despite fashion not falling under the umbrella of things that the word can describe (via The Focus).

This gets at a larger issue of social media platforms allowing the displacement of words from their originators, but now when you see the word “bussin,” you’ll know what it means, if it’s being used incorrectly, and who made the term.

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