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Chad (slang)

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The slang term Chad originated in Chicago as a pejorative term for young, upper-class, urban males.[1] In modern internet slang, the term can be similar to "bro" and generally refers to an "alpha male"[2] or otherwise a genetically superior male.[3][4]


The slang term "Chad" came into use[when?] in Chicago[1] as a derogatory way to describe a young urban American man, typically single and in his twenties or early thirties.[1]

In Chicago, the term was covered by a satirical website dedicated to the Lincoln Park Chad Society, a fictional social club based in Chicago's upscale Lincoln Park neighborhood.[5] A Chad was initially depicted as originating in Chicago's affluent North Shore suburbs (Highland Park, Evanston, Deerfield, Northbrook, Glenview, Glencoe, Winnetka, Wilmette, or Lake Forest), receiving a BMW for his 16th birthday, obtaining a law or business degree from a Big Ten university, belonging to a fraternity, moving to Lincoln Park, marrying a "Trixie", and then moving back to the North Shore suburbs.[6]

Manosphere and internet use

The term later[when?] came into use in incel forums and as internet slang to refer to sexually active, genetically superior men, or "alpha males".[7] Within the manosphere and internet culture, Chads are generally viewed as constituting the top decile in terms of genetic fitness.[8] In online animation drawings in the manosphere, a Chad is further tagged with an explicit last name and is often depicted as a muscular blond man with very pronounced masculine features. One such depiction, in the "Virgin vs. Chad" internet meme that originated from the /r9k/ board on 4chan in 2017, contrasts an introverted and insecure "Virgin" who acts normal, compared to a muscular and egotistical "Chad" who acts absurdly and over the top.[9] Chads are sometimes portrayed as the opposite to "omega" or "beta" males, and as physically attractive. The term Chad is sometimes used interchangeably with "slayer".[10] Due to their characterization as being genetically gifted and privileged—though sometimes depicted as shallow, air-headed, arrogant, and overtly sexual[11]—the term Chad is used in both a pejorative and complimentary way on incel forums and on the internet as a whole.[12][13]

The female counterpart to a Chad, in slang, is a "Stacy",[14][15][16][17] or previously, the "Trixie".[18]

"Gigachad" is a related internet meme that uses black-and-white photographs of a muscular male model. It is used to assert one's opinion as correct, without providing evidence or reasoning.[19]

See also


  1. ^ a b c Welch, David (2012). New in Town Chicago. New in Town Chicago. p. 16.
  2. ^ Hines, Alice (May 28, 2019). "How Many Bones Would you Break to get Laid?". The Cut. Retrieved October 3, 2020.
  3. ^ "Incels: Inside a dark world of online hate". BBC News. May 12, 2018. Retrieved August 4, 2023.
  4. ^ Ali, Rasha; Oliver, David; Haneline, Amy (November 15, 2019). "What is a VSCO girl? OK, boomer. A parents' dictionary to teen slang words, sksksksksk". USA Today. Retrieved October 3, 2020.
  5. ^ Tracy Swartz (April 24, 2008). "Talk of the town". Chicago Redeye. Retrieved April 2, 2014. But there are terms within this Chi-alect that are specific to the North and South Sides.
  6. ^ "» Lifecycle". January 15, 2008. Archived from the original on January 15, 2008. Retrieved April 28, 2018.
  7. ^ "Virgin vs Chad Meme Is Taking Over the Entire Internet". The Daily Dot. November 7, 2017. Retrieved April 28, 2018.
  8. ^ Nagle, Angela. "The New Man of 4chan". The Baffler 30 (2016): 64. Archived March 16, 2016, at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ Hathaway, Jay (January 26, 2021). "The Virgin vs Chad meme, explained". The Daily Dot. Retrieved March 8, 2021.
  10. ^ Marwick, Alice, and Rebecca Lewis. "Media manipulation and disinformation online". New York: Data & Society Research Institute (2017).
  11. ^ Beauchamp, Zack (April 25, 2018). "Incel, the misogynist ideology that inspired the deadly Toronto attack, explained". Vox.
  12. ^ Jennings, Rebecca (April 28, 2018). "Incels Categorize Women by Personal Style and Attractiveness". Vox.
  13. ^ "The 'incel rebellion': did sexual frustration trigger Toronto rampage?". South China Morning Post. April 25, 2018.
  14. ^ Thomas Dane (August 23, 2019). "People Who Know Chads and Karens Admit How They Feel About Their Names Becoming Insults". George Takei. Retrieved December 16, 2019.
  15. ^ Rebecca Jennings (August 28, 2018). "Incels Categorize Women by Personal Style and Attractiveness". Vox.
  16. ^ "What is incel? Examining the 'rebellion' praised by Toronto van attack suspect". Global News. April 25, 2018.
  17. ^ Arianna Jeret (April 25, 2018). "What Does 'Stacy' Mean? The Odd Way Incel Men on Reddit and 4Chan Use It to Describe Certain Women". Yahoo! Lifestyle. Archived from the original on January 8, 2021. Retrieved November 23, 2019.
  18. ^ Clay Risen (August 20, 2001). "Lincoln Park Trixie Society". Flak Magazine. Archived from the original on September 10, 2001. Retrieved May 9, 2019.
  19. ^ Ettinger, Marlon (November 23, 2023). "Who is GigaChad?". The Daily Dot. Retrieved April 18, 2024.

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