What’s in a name? Urban Dictionary can answer that question. For decades, the crowdsourced digital library has chronicled slang and ubiquitous terms that pervade social media — and yes, its user-submitted nature has seen some offensive moments. It also provides definitions for people’s names, which Twitter and Instagram users are now posting across their profiles.
These dictionary entries have probably popped up on your own feed over the past few days, in a trend that seems to have originated on Instagram. Sparked by Instagram user @bymayuuu, the prompt “Show us ur name in Urban Dictionary 🤥⭐️” quickly went viral. At the time of writing, 2.9 million users have contributed to the sticker.
The trend is connected to the app’s “Add Yours” sticker feature, which allows people to create a public thread and content chain of sorts, consolidated under one topic.
And as with most social media trends, it made its way to other platforms. On Twitter, “Urban Dictionary” was trending all of Monday, with users also posting screenshots of their UD-prescribed definitions.
Why is this a thing at all? Well, Urban Dictionary’s name definitions are pretty arbitrary, with sometimes oddly specific definitions and other times vague adjectives. I looked up my own name (for research purposes), and entries under “Meera” ranged from stories taken from Hindu mythology to others that characterize Meera as “strong”, “energetic”, and “sporty”. I’ll take it.
Basically, the entries can go either way, and sometimes can elicit a laugh or two, as Twitter proved.
Other users, however, are not too impressed with this craze, despite millions of others going for it.
You can’t please everyone, I guess.