Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

A friend of mine said he would like to bring the word 'hip' back in to fashion. I thought of 'hip' as a body part, so I didn't understand him until he said," Riding horses is seriously great; I mean seriously hip."

What does 'hip' mean?

I've looked up www.dictionary.com , but it also defined it as I have always defined it.

share|improve this question
    
Oops! Silly me!! –  Thursagen May 9 '11 at 4:41
6  
See also Zaphod Beeblebrox: "I'm so hip i have trouble seeing over my pelvis." –  Steve Melnikoff May 9 '11 at 10:41

3 Answers 3

up vote 8 down vote accepted

In this connotation, it means "in fashion" or "in the know", and is sometimes used similarly to the term "cool".

Advanced Learner's has a good definition:

knowing a lot about what the most modern fashions are, esp. in music, social behavior, and styles of clothes

share|improve this answer

We are talking about what 'hip' means today, not where it may have come from.

A UK example (widely used): A 'hip' vicar - someone who is desperately trying to catch up with "how to package the message" so it is actually, and as a minimum, going to be received - the content may subsequently be rejected (by some; perhaps accepted by others), but that has nearly nothing to do with 'hip'; Example: Is drugs use hip or not? No answer (there might be an answer if you peg it to a particular period in the past)

share|improve this answer

hip comes from the word hipster. There were hipsters, black, Latin and white, long before Elvis became popular in the mid 50s. In the 50s, Elvis was called Hep, as in a Hepcat.

Robert Mitchum and Jack Kerouac were well-known whites who were considered hip in those days.

If something reached the mainstream culture in a big way, it was no longer hip.

share|improve this answer
2  
Hip is about 40 years older than hipster: etymonline.com/index.php?search=hipster – this answer has some truth to it but it's more incorrect than correct. –  Bradd Szonye May 6 '13 at 23:47

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.