Woman dancing to music in a living room.

What does “Bop” mean on the Internet?

Woman dancing to music in a living room.
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Has anyone on the internet asked you to recommend a good bop? Prepare your playlists! Here’s what this fun music-related slang term means and how to use it online.

great songs

“Bop” is an online slang term meaning “a good song”. People use it in social media posts and text messages to describe a song they enjoyed a lot. When you call a song a bop, you also imply that it’s fun to dance to, unlike soft, dark music. For example, if you really enjoyed Dua Lipa’s latest hit, you might say, “This new Dua Lipa song is a bop!” You can also say something is “not a bop” if you don’t particularly like it or think it’s not suitable for dancing.

In recent years, the term has been closely associated with “stan” culture, a type of internet fandom that involves supporting a specific artist. You’ll frequently see self-proclaimed stans refer to their favorite artists’ songs as “bops”, often to promote those tracks to others.

The origin of bop

A jazz band performing in a nightclub.
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Unlike the other slang terms we’ve covered, the term “bop” long predates the internet. According to Vocabulary.com, “bop” is a reference to the sound made when you lightly punch someone. Its association with music emerged in the 1940s, in the form of a shortened version of the jazz term “bebop”. Bebop is a type of jazz with fast tempos, complex harmonies, and constant improvisation. It was also a popular form of swing dancing in the 1950s.

Later, the word “bop” caught on in the mainstream, becoming synonymous with fast, danceable music. As a result, the term is used in many songs, including Hanson’s 1997 hit “MMMMBop” and DaBaby’s 2019 track “Bop.”

However, “bop” as an online musical slang term is fairly new. The first entry for the word on the Urban Dictionary online slang repository is from 2016 and reads: “used to refer to a good song; to say that a song is really good. It is particularly popular on Twitter , where “stans” of artists proclaimed their songs to be bops. This is also linked to a recent rise in critical acclaim for pop music.

What counts as a “Bop?”

Although the word is a generic descriptor of good music, not all songs can be called “bop”. Although there are no definite written criteria for what counts as a bop, there are a few qualities that bops tend to have in common. These days, bops tend to be fun, danceable, and upbeat, as opposed to softer, mellow songs. They also come from specific genres, such as pop, R&B, hip-hop and electronic music.

However, like many other slang terms, internet users also ironically use “bop”. They might say a song is a “bop” even if it’s slow, long, and impossible to dance to. For example, you can find TikToks referencing various national anthems or classic tunes like “bops”, often for comedic effect.

There are a few other internet slang terms you can use to praise a song. Although these terms are quite similar to bop, they have a few key differences. “Banger” is usually used for rock and hip-hop music and refers to “headbanging” – a movement you make with your head when listening to an intense part of a song.

There is also “slap”, which is a more general term than “banger” or “bop”. For example, you might say “That song rocks” when you hear a good song on the radio. Another distinction is that “slap” and “banger” can refer to other media, such as movies, TV shows, and art. Bop almost always refers to music.

How to use the bop

If you want to use bop in your tweets and private messages, it’s quite simple. Just use it to refer to the songs you like to dance to. Here are some examples of “bops” in action:

  • “What song is playing right now? It’s a boo!”
  • “Wow his new single is a bop. I bet it will be a success.
  • “The new album is full of bops.”
  • “I’m disappointed his new song isn’t a bop.”

Would you like to add more Internet terms to your vocabulary? Then check out our explanations of OG, cap, and “touch grass,” and you’ll be an internet slang expert in no time!

RELATED: What does “OG” stand for and how do you use it?

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