Chad (slang)

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The slang term Chad originated in the UK, where it was used to describe a particular humorous ad-hoc cartoon,[1] and later in Chicago it was used as a pejorative term for young, upper-class, urban males.[2] In modern internet slang, the term can be similar to "bro" and generally refers to an "alpha male"[3] or otherwise obnoxious hyper-masculine yuppie male.[4]


The slang term "Chad" originated in the UK during World War II and was employed in a similar humorous manner as "Kilroy was here".[1] It later came into use in Chicago[2] as a derogatory way to describe a young urban American man, typically single and in his twenties or early thirties.[2]

In Chicago, the term was covered by a satirical website dedicated to the Lincoln Park Chad Society, a fictional social club based in Chicago's upscale Lincoln Park neighborhood.[5] A Chad was originally depicted as originating in Chicago's affluent North Shore suburbs (Highland Park, Evanston, Deerfield, Northbrook, Glenview, Glencoe, Winnetka, Wilmette, or Lake Forest), receiving a BMW for his 16th birthday, obtaining a law or business degree from a Big Ten university, belonging to a fraternity, moving to Lincoln Park, marrying a "Trixie", and then moving back to the North Shore suburbs.[6]


The term later came into use in incel forums to refer to sexually active "alpha males".[7] Within the manosphere, Chads are viewed as constituting the top decile in terms of genetic fitness.[8] In online animation drawings in the manosphere, a Chad is further tagged with an explicit last name and is often depicted as a muscular blond man and with very pronounced masculine features. One such depiction, in the "Virgin vs. Chad" internet meme of the late 2010s, contrasts an introverted and insecure "Virgin" with a muscular and egotistical "Chad".[9] Chads are sometimes portrayed as the opposite to "omega" or "beta" males, and as physically attractive. The term Chad is sometimes used interchangeably with slayer.[10] Due to their characterisation as being genetically gifted and privileged—though sometimes depicted as shallow, air-headed, arrogant, and overtly sexual[11]—the term Chad is used in both a pejorative and complimentary way on incel forums.[12][13]

The female counterpart to the Chad, in slang, is the Stacy,[14][15][16][17] or originally, the Trixie.[18]

See also


  1. ^ a b Crystal, David (2018). The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language. Cambridge University Press. p. 193. ISBN 978-1108423595. Retrieved 28 August 2021.
  2. ^ a b c Welch, David (2012). New in Town Chicago. New in Town Chicago. p. 16.
  3. ^ Hines, Alice (May 28, 2019). "How Many Bones Would you Break to get Laid?". The Cut. Retrieved October 3, 2020.
  4. ^ Ali, Rasha; Oliver, David; Haneline, Amy (November 15, 2019). "What is a VSCO girl? OK, boomer. A parents' dictionary to teen slang words, sksksksksk". USA Today. Retrieved October 3, 2020.
  5. ^ Tracy Swartz (April 24, 2008). "Talk of the town". Chicago Redeye. Retrieved 2 April 2014. But there are terms within this Chi-alect that are specific to the North and South Sides.
  6. ^ "» Lifecycle". 15 January 2008. Archived from the original on 15 January 2008. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
  7. ^ "Virgin vs Chad Meme Is Taking Over the Entire Internet". The Daily Dot. 7 November 2017. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
  8. ^ Nagle, Angela. "The New Man of 4chan". The Baffler 30 (2016): 64. Archived 16 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ Hathaway, Jay (January 26, 2021). "Why the Virgin vs. Chad debate is taking over the internet". The Daily Dot. Retrieved March 8, 2021.
  10. ^ Marwick, Alice, and Rebecca Lewis. "Media manipulation and disinformation online". New York: Data & Society Research Institute (2017).
  11. ^ Beauchamp, Zack (April 25, 2018). "Incel, the misogynist ideology that inspired the deadly Toronto attack, explained". Vox.
  12. ^ Jennings, Rebecca (April 28, 2018). "Incels Categorize Women by Personal Style and Attractiveness". Vox.
  13. ^ "The 'incel rebellion': did sexual frustration trigger Toronto rampage?". South China Morning Post. April 25, 2018.
  14. ^ Thomas Dane (23 August 2019). "People Who Know Chads and Karens Admit How They Feel About Their Names Becoming Insults". George Takei. Retrieved 2019-12-16.
  15. ^ Rebecca Jennings (2018-08-28). "Incels Categorize Women by Personal Style and Attractiveness". Vox.
  16. ^ "What is incel? Examining the 'rebellion' praised by Toronto van attack suspect". Global News. 2018-04-25.
  17. ^ Arianna Jeret (2018-04-25). "What Does 'Stacy' Mean? The Odd Way Incel Men On Reddit and 4Chan Use It to Describe Certain Women". Yahoo! Lifestyle.
  18. ^ Clay Risen (August 20, 2001). "Lincoln Park Trixie Society". Flak Magazine. Archived from the original on September 10, 2001. Retrieved May 9, 2019.

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