It’s a crazy thing, isn’t it? How one day somebody just jumbles some letters together haphazardly, hopes for the best and language is born. With just 26 symbols, the great writers of tomorrow are able to string together thoughts that make you laugh, cry and question everything you know. But the English language is always morphing and evolving, and you don’t want to be that person who’s not up to date on the totally hip new slang. And you definitely don’t want to be the one who’s still trying to make fetch happen.
So sit back, relax and immerse yourself in the history of the derp.
The Internet phenomenon commonly known as “derping” or “derp” only soared to the top of the charts in 2010, but it’s actually a little bit old school. The first official derp citing dates us back to the glorious days of 1998 in the cult film, BASEketball.
The film stars South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone as the classic goofy and embarrassingly dorky guys. After completely humiliating themselves in front of a young Yasmine Bleeth, one of them mutters a dumbfounded “Derp!” as he leaves the room.
And thus, the derp was born.
After that, Parker and Stone employed derp again in 1999 through the creation of their slapstick-minded character, Mr. Derp. His pastimes include saying ridiculous things, unintentionally hitting himself in the face with everything and, of course, chanting “derp” over and over.
The Bronies were quick to pick up on this and the image was circulated on various comic boards like 4chan, ultimately leading to the unofficial name “Derpy Hooves.” As a salute to the fandom, the writers wrote “Derpy Hooves” into the cast, giving her the official name “Ditzy Doo.” Legions of fans followed the goofy, klutzy, loveable pony.
If you’re looking to work derp into your cocktail party conversations (ie: Gatsby totally derped when he tried to play it cool in front of Daisy), you might want to hold off. Unfortunately, derp hasn’t gained status as a real English word in Webster’s or Oxford’s books yet.
But don’t fret, young meme-enthusiasts. If selfie and bae can achieve official word status, perhaps one day we can live in a world where one can rightly write “derp” without the a red squiggly line appearing underneath.
Featured image: Derpy Hooves via Wikia
What’s your favourite use of “derp”? Share it in the comments below or tweet us at @ViewtheVibe.