Internet Slang: “Based”

Main Piece:

The informant, SE, and I were discussing a fight that broke out at a concert.

Me: “…and then she spat in her face.”

SE: “After it was broken up?”

Me: “No, while they were hitting each other.”

SE: “Honestly based.”


The informant is a twenty-one year old, white, college student who is very active on online platforms like reddit and twitter. He originally picked it up from his friend, an indian-american college student, and then SE passed it on to our friend group. The phrase is all over online blog posting, comment threads, and in colloquial vernacular.


“Based” as a word is practically synonymous with “good” or “cool.” But the performance and inflection of how it’s used can greatly change the meaning behind it. The use of the word “based” itself has become a bit of a meme, and thus, it has taken on a post-ironic, humorous quality as well.


In the example above, SE said it very sharply with an overly genuine tone. Here, what he’s really implying is saying that the action of the girl was the OPPOSITE of “good” or “cool” and is calling it such ironically to get a laugh. Calling something “based” is a more niche way to describe something as being good, and although it isn’t said as much as words like “sick” or “dope,” it holds a very specific purpose which makes it popular in our friend group’s humor.


Just a quick google search and you will find it in memes like the following.