Cheugy: the word you need when passé or basic just won’t do

It’s the new buzzword for being off-trend, but if you fit the description, never fear. Being a bit cheugy is acceptable and probably unavoidable

Name: Cheugy.

Age: Eight.

Appearance: You’ll know it when you see it.

And if I don’t? Then you’re probably cheugy.

Help me out here: what is “cheugy”? According to the New York Times, “it’s just the latest in a long line of niche identifiers that have gained traction on the internet.”

I said help me out. It’s basically an adjective – pronounced “chew-ghee”.

A new adjective? I haven’t even learned all the old ones yet. This one is unlikely to be of any use to you, even though it may apply to you.

Tell me what that means! It’s really just a very current form of passé: off-trend, out of date, still on the bandwagon long after the parade has ended.

Can you give me some examples of things that are cheugy? The list is subject to change, but at the time of going to press it includes girlboss energy, Barstool Sports, sneaker culture, saying “I did a thing”, Minions memes and “sylly week” captions.

Is it bad that I’ve never heard of any of these allegedly exhausted trends? It is beyond cheugy.

Where does such a word come from? In this case it was coined by Gaby Rasson, a student at Beverly Hills high school, in 2013.

That’s a more specific answer than I was expecting. “There was a missing word that was on the tip of my tongue and nothing to describe it and ‘cheugy’ came to me,” Rasson said. “How it sounded fit the meaning.”

Maybe she should have tried the dictionary first. Cheugy spread from schools to summer camps to college campuses, and more recently exploded on to TikTok.

That’s probably why I haven’t heard it before. I’m mostly on Instagram. Instagram is well cheugy.

This all sounds like rank snobbery to me. Well, yes. Some of it is intergenerational, with Gen Z targeting millennials for their cheuginess. Some of it’s class-based and some of it smacks of bullying. But really it’s all in fun.

It doesn’t seem fun to me. You’re missing the point. Being a bit cheugy from time to time is acceptable and probably unavoidable. As one TikToker said, “It’s OK, we all have a little cheug in us.”

So by being cheugy I am, in a roundabout way, secretly being cool? You really don’t get it, do you?

Do say: “Embrace the cheug. Or dump those trainers. Your choice, but act quickly.”

Don’t say: “Wow, that is so cheesy. I mean cheugy. Damn you, autocorrect!”

The GuardianTramp

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