TikTok Is at It Again With the Slang Term "Grippy," Which Is Pretty Explicit

Grippy is not a word you should use, even if you're confident you know what it means.


May 9 2024, Published 11:36 a.m. ET

If it turns out that TikTok is eventually banned from the U.S. (which is still very much an open question), we'll need to go somewhere else to find ourselves regularly confused by new words. TikTok has been a regular source for new slang terms that are confusing to anyone who doesn't already recognize them.

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The latest of these new terms is "grippy," which has baffled everyone who doesn't understand what it's supposed to mean. Luckily, we're here to help. Here's everything we know about the term, and why it's suddenly popping up everywhere.

A TikTok logo on a phone screen with a laptop behind it.
Source: Getty Images
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What does grippy mean on TikTok?

Grippy is among the more NSFW terms that have trended on TikTok. In general, things that are grippy are things that offer good traction. Think of grippy socks, which typically have pieces of rubber on their soles so that you don't slide when you wear them.

In the context it's being used in on TikTok, the term seems to be a way to describe attractive women, and in particular, how it might feel to have sex with them.

It's a pretty explicit suggestion, and one that is trending on TikTok in part because so many people have condemned its use. While it's typically OK to admire someone because you find them attractive, it's less cool to speculate about exactly what it might feel like to have sex with them. It's a term that has become popular on TikTok, even though many people find it to be misogynistic and reductive.

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Grippy may not be a popular term on TikTok for long.

Given the number of people who seem to understand how gross and explicit the term is, it's possible that this one won't be around on TikTok for long. Of course, among a certain sect of very fratty frat boys, it may be impossible to eliminate its usage completely. There are plenty of gross ways to describe a women, but it's amazing how quickly a new term can jump to the top of that list.

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TikTok can be both empowering and misogynistic.

Platforms like TikTok are something of a double-edged sword for women and other stigmatized groups. While they offer an empowering place for women to speak their minds, they can also be a place where they are attacked, or derogatory comments are made about them.

Plenty of the terms that spread around on TikTok are fundamentally harmless, but some of them can contribute to a culture of objectification that is both derogatory and entirely unnecessary. Grippy may be a term that is popular on TikTok at the moment, but that doesn't mean it's a term that people should use.

While it's not exactly designed to obfuscate its meaning, and if you pay attention to the context you'll come to understand, it's a pretty gross and explicit way to describe another person, whether you're speculating about them or not. When in doubt, just choose not to objectify other people, and be kind to them whether they can hear you or not.

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