What is dabbing? Meaning, origin and videos of celebrities performing the dance move
The craze has spread across the globe over the past year, with celebrities, politicians and even royals doing it in public
- 12 Apr 2018, 16:52
- Updated : 12 Apr 2018, 16:58
DABBING has become a global craze over the past year with celebrities, politicians and even royals performing the dance move in public.
If you’ve never heard of it or simply aren’t quite sure what all the fuss is about, then read on.
What is dabbing? Who started it?
The dabbing craze sees people point one arm upwards towards the sky while also bowing their head into their other arm. Yes, that’s it.
The trend is thought to have been initially started in Atlanta by rappers from the group Migos and a few other artists that collaborate on their tracks, including Jose Guapo, Skippa Da Flippa, and PeeWee Longway.
Just like the Nae Nae, artists popularised the dance move by featuring it in their music videos and mixtapes and it was soon picked up by the American football player Cam Newton.
The Carolina Panthers quarterback has now become an ambassador for the dab and helped it become a household trend.
What does dabbing mean?
While dabbing may seem like just an innocent dance move, it does actually have a darker meaning behind it.
The expression is also a term for smoking butane hash oil and extracting 90 per cent of the THC (the primary ingredient in marijuana).
Some have said the dance move is supposed to represent sneezing, something that often happens to people when they’ve taken a lot of cannabis.
Which famous faces and celebs have dabbed?
Since the dabbing craze begun a lot of celebs, politicians and royals have performed the move in public. Here are some of the latest and greatest.
Woman dabs in Donald Trump’s office
M.A., woman who sued https://t.co/98d3bCFj8l, dances as Pres. Trump signs bill combatting online sex trafficking. “It’s about damn time.” https://t.co/jmdzOE7XOn pic.twitter.com/FCnGNCFfvA
On April 11 2018, a woman was filmed dabbing as Donald Trump signed a bill combating online sex trafficking in the Oval office.
The activist, known as M.A., was the first woman to sue classified advertising website Backpage, for allowing adverts touting sex with underage kids.
If anyone can, Chuka can
Even Labour MP Chuka Umunna performed a dab in public (kind of), presumably under pressure from his young audience.
Labour leader gets animated
This cartoon version of Jeremy Corbyn dabbing first appeared on social media some time ago, but was resurfaced recently by election campaign supporters.
Throw out the rules of this rigged economy and change them to benefit the many, not the few. #VoteLabour #GE2017 pic.twitter.com/5jXGWQEyBo
Tom Watson during Theresa May’s PMQs
Labour MP Tom Watson dabbed during PMQs after Jeremy Corbyn hit out at Theresa May about the NHS.
The politician performed the move as Mr Corbyn sat down next to him.
Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard loves a good dab
Prince Harry partakes in the trend while visiting Aberdeen’s Robert Gordon University
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Popular Saudi Arabian singer and TV host Abdallah Al Shahani
Good Morning Britain’s Susanna Reid tried it
After worrying that Kate Garraway would ‘knock herself out’ with the move, Susanna decided to get involved.
Kay Burley dabbing (badly) on Sky News
After Tom Watson dabbed on PMQs, Sky News presenter Kay Burley attempted a dab but it looked more like a Usain Bolt celebration.
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Our journalists strive for accuracy but on occasion we make mistakes. For further details of our complaints policy and to make a complaint please click here.The dabbing craze has spread across the globe over the past year, with celebrities, politicians and even royals doing it in public
What is ‘dabbing’?
Since at least 2012, the word dabbin’ or dabbing has referred to the act of heating a sticky oil or wax of concentrated THC extracted from cannabis and inhaling the vapors. While this method of smoking THC vapors is itself very old, this name for it is not. The use of dab in this sense has not been widespread enough to get our attention, but there are two other new uses that seem to be spreading—and all three may be connected.
‘Dabbing’ is a dance move believed to have originated in the Atlanta, Georgia rap scene. In addition to that, ‘dabbing’ is being used as a generalized term to say that someone is self-assured. A song by the group Migos (pictured) states that while other people are “still sayin’ swag” they’ve “switched it up we call it dab.”
Dabbin’ or the dab is also the name of a dance move believed to have originated in the Atlanta, Georgia rap scene, and in addition to that, dabbin’ is being used as a generalized term to say that someone is self-assured. The two uses seem to have developed around roughly the same time.
In May of 2015, a dance video appeared on YouTube titled “Dabbin Dance Official Video.”
That fall, a hip hop trio called Migos released a song titled “Look at my Dab.” The following lyrics from the Migos song indicate that “feeling Fab” is a result of dabbin’, but it’s not immediately clear if this dab is referring to the drug use, the dance move, or the self-assured use—or a combination of the three. On the one hand, the lyrics clearly reference the drug:
Look at my dab, got me feelin’ like I’m Fab
Look at my dab, spreadin’ dab across the map
I’m dabbin’ when I walk up in the trap
I look at the pot, I’m like get in there
I play with the water need swimwear
Look at my dab, get in there
—”Look at My Dab,” Migos
On the other hand, later in the song they clarify that other people are “still sayin’ swag” and they’ve “switched it up we call it dab.” Shortly before the song was released, Atlanta rapper PeeWee Longway defined dabbin’ in a video on YouTube:
When it’s that time to come out and time for [them] to see it on you . . . you got to really come through that even dabbin. . . . When you put your favorite outfit on, you dabbin’ at that moment. . . . It has to be fitted, though. It ain’t for those with the big clothes.
—PeeWee Longway, 11 Mar. 2015 interview
which is in agreement with the definition from Migos:
thinkin’ that it’s just a dance
When dabbin’ is a way of fashion
—”Look at My Dab,” Migos
It’s clear that the “confidence” meaning and the use for the dance move are connected, and that one can show one’s confidence by doing the dance move.
Emerging out of the Atlanta hip-hop scene, the dab is an expressive sneezing gesture that in some way shows your swagger dominance over all other haters. (Because nothing says “swag” like a sneeze).
—Dashel Pierson, The Intertia, 1 February 2016
In case you’re wondering, ‘Dab’ is supposedly the new ‘Swag’ replacement and ‘Dabbin’ is the dance that signifies your
—ATLien, Straight from the A, 8 Dec. 2015
By July of 2015, the term was defined on Urban Dictionary as “Atlanta lingo for a level of confidence to your swag” and later “to give a sharp nod to your raised four [sic] arm. Dancing with sharp nods repeated,” and Cam Newton made “the dab” his signature touchdown celebration move, sparking rapid spread throughout the country.
But are these uses connected to the drug meaning? Despite claims that the dance move has nothing to do with the drug use, there is some speculation that it gets its name because it looks like a cough that results from inhaling the concentrated THC vapors, but this theory is not supported by many. Still, when you consider the adjective use of dope it doesn’t seem too far-reaching to postulate that this “confidence” use of dab may have been born from the drug use, at least lexically speaking.
We can’t say yet if these new uses of the word dab have staying power, but with their varied forms, both syntactic and semantic, it’s something worth keeping an eye on. Migos, on the other hand, already made their prediction:
Look at my dab, everybody sayin’ dab
Dabbin’ goin’ in the dictionary, Birds sangin’ just like Mary Mary
—”Look at My Dab,” Migos
Words We’re Watching talks about words we are increasingly seeing in use but that have not yet met our criteria for entry.What does ‘dabbing’ mean? ]]>