Defining The Term “Shade”

In modern slang, the idea of throwing shade has become popular according to Jim Cramp.

It is commonly used in conversations, and it’s one of those developments that has only grown in stature as time has gone on. For those who don’t use this term as frequently or might not know how it came about, this read is going to shed light on throwing shade.

Here is more on what it means to “throw shade” and why it is commonly used in modern slang.

Definition

In general, the idea of shade is to show contempt towards another person.

This can be direct or indirect depending on the situation. In most cases, it is done subtly, and the goal is to put down the other person while being smooth. Modern examples tend to show this as any form of insult that is directed at another person.

How It Came About

Every term has an origin story, and the same applies to this one.

Throwing shade came about when the movie “Paris Is Burning” was released in the early 80s. The idea was to illustrate a person being put down in one of the drag scenes that took place. Of course, time went on, and it didn’t truly catch on until 2015.

This is when the show “RuPaul’s Drag Race” mentioned it.

It was something that was brought up as being common in the series. For example, if one were to get a new car that was not as nice, they would say something along the lines of “Nice! Look at that car!” and it would be done with a hint of contempt.

This is why the idea of throwing shade has taken off because it can be done in various walks of life.

The goal is to remain as subtle as possible, so the other person doesn’t pick up on it. This is when you are throwing shade. If you cross the line and make it direct, it is harder to get out of it, and that is when you have entered a new territory of insulting someone.

It is not a science, and that is why it is seen being used in modern slang to define a number of insults or sayings.

It is now seen being used in all age groups and is something that is common among younger people. It has a more substantial presence in pop culture as well.