Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Vocabulary Lesson: Swole

Swole is an adjective, and it means someone is especially buff and muscular.  It is derived from the word swollen.

This word is generally male-only and is usually used in a complimentary sense.

Sometimes the word can be used with "up." For example, "He swolled up over the summer." (Urban Dictionary suggested prison, but I prefer to think of summer vacation.) In this sense, the word is not an adjective. However, the word is not usually translated to "swoles."

I've never heard "swoleness" either, but I'm ready to accept it. 

Swole has been part of the pop culture lexicon for over a decade. From Know Your Meme:
The earliest known usage of the term in hip hop lyrics comes from the song “When I Get Free,” which was released posthumously on the album Until the End of Time for the late rapper by Tupac Shakur on March 27th, 2001 (shown below, left). The song includes the lyrics “did push ups till I swole up” in reference to time Shakur had spent exercising in prison.

Additional Resources:
Swole, Urban Dictionary
Swole, Know Your Meme

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