› Blogs › Furman Library News ›What does “hella wack” mean?
Hip hop artist, Chris Brown, recently used Instagram to apologize for hurling insults at his ex-girlfriend Karrueche Tran. He said he doesn’t think social media is a place to air out personal problems and he feels “hella wack” for doing it.
The slang words “hella” and “wack” are included in Green’s Dictionary of Slang. This collection of hip, witty, rude, and fascinating slang words covers five centuries of innovation in all English-speaking regions of the world. The Dictionary is the most authoritative, scholarly approach to slang ever attempted. Over 100,000 words are defined. Each word is authenticated by genuine and full-referenced citations of its use.
According to Green’s Dictionary of Slang, “hella” and “wack” are defined as:
hella adv. very, extremely, really. – 1989 P. Munro Sl. U. 1997–2000 Da Bomb [Internet] 14: Hella: 1. Very; a lot. […]. 2. indeed; very; certainly. 2004 Eble Campus Sl. Apr. 3:hella – very: That show was hella awesome.
wack adj. second-rate, phoney, unsatisfactory; a general term of opprobrium. [orig. popularized in 1986 through the anti-crack mural by Keith Haring (1958–90), which bore the slogan: ‘Crack is wack.’] – 1980 N. George ‘Rapping Deejays’ in Buppies, B-Boys, Baps and Bohos (1994) 45: The best definition of [the whack] is that if you don’t know what it means you probably are ‘the whack’ or maybe even ‘whacked.’ 1988 Ice-T ‘Power’ [lyrics] You might like me, might think I’m wack. 1997 N. Barlay Curvy Lovebox 60: Look at the pair of you. Your garms are wacked. 1998 Source Oct. 22: If he wasn’t so busy writing wack lyrics. 2001 Eble Campus Sl. Fall 11: WHACKED – strange or weird, in a negative or positive way. 2001 N. Macdonald Graffiti Subculture xi: Dry, lame, wak: Something which is bad or of substandard quality. 2002 Teen Lingo: The Source for Youth Ministry [Internet] wacked see weak [i.e. ‘no good, a bad situation’]. 2004 Guardian G2 12 Mar. 13: Them laws is wack.