Language Log discovers the word 'yeet' (and so do I, kinda)

No shade on Mark Liberman at all; I just thought his discovery of the word ‘yeet’ was funny:

Today I learned that yeet means (among other things) “To discard an item at a high velocity”. I didn’t learn this from the not-very-reliable Urban Dictionary, but from Umar Shakir, “Tom Brady says the next sideline Surface he yeets will cost him: Microsoft’s star tablet may finally be safe on the sideline“, The Verge 12/29/2021

I’d love to know more about its etymological origins, beyond Wiktionary’s entry:

Originating and coined in the mid-2000s, but popularized by a 2014 video uploaded on Vine.

A deeper dive takes you to Know Your Meme’s explanation:

Yeet is a choreographed dance stylized by dipping one’s shoulder in rhythmic steps with both hands out in front and knees bent as if the performer is riding a bicycle. It became popular in February 2014 after footage of people performing the dance were uploaded to the video-sharing sites Vine and YouTube. In recent years, the term “yeet” has adopted a meaning of launching or throwing something at a high velocity or exclamation of doing so.


While little is known as of yet about the story behind the dance, Houston, Texas-based producer and video blogger Marquis Trill has credited five individuals @1ballout_ @Thefuhkinmann @KronicCaviar @AXXXXJXY @JollyceM @SmashBro_KB as the creators of the Yeet. The earliest known video of someone performing the yeet dance was uploaded by YouTuber Milik Fullilove on February 12th, 2014 (shown below).

Yeet!!!! New dance

In the few years I’ve heard the word “yeet”, it’s come from white people so I’m not surprised the term has Black origins, given how African-American Vernacular English (AAVE) is routinely appropriated into “internet slang”. Hmm, looks like I discovered more about “yeet” too.

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