Does it seem to anyone else that in the past few years people have been saying "I like!" in a new, playful, ungrammatical way?

I am not plugged in to popular culture so I wonder if some of you could comment on this, and, if you have noticed the same, shed some light on the origins of this idiom.

Here is the context I'm thinking of: A friend walks into a room that you just finished repainting. They exclaim: "I like...!" Or maybe they are pointing at a bracelet you are wearing.

It seems to me that ten years ago, people would have said "I like that", or some other construction, but not just "I like". Or is it just my ears?

To my ears it almost sounds like someone mocking an Asian accent, or someone speaking pidgin English.

You like? Yes, I like. You go movies with me? No, I no go.

  • 2
    Is it being said with an accent intentionally? Like this: youtube.com/watch?v=YqEBPn4gVTU
    – Dodgie
    Dec 11, 2013 at 4:39
  • @dodgie Wow, what a great find! Yes, that's the feeling of it! But the people I've heard using it are native English speakers and don't seem to be mimicking an accent.
    – zx81
    Dec 11, 2013 at 7:26

1 Answer 1


LIKE or I like is a Facebook-inspired phenomenon that has metastasized into public speech.

On Facebook, there is an option to show support for or agreement with something another user puts forward by clicking on a "like" icon. The system tracks likes for the user's comments to their wall. It is an abbreviated way to show support.

The use of "Like!" or "I like!" in written language probably follows (by a lag time) the growth of Facebook as an online social media site. Similar to the like button, it is an abbreviated way to express approval.

  • thank you, very helpful! So you have noticed that too...
    – zx81
    Dec 11, 2013 at 3:54
  • Your answer also reassures me that I'm not going (completely) mad. My companion assures me that she's always (as in twenty years ago) been saying that, even though I hadn't heard her say "I like!..." until a friend of hers started saying it.
    – zx81
    Dec 11, 2013 at 4:17
  • 2
    Are you sure it's not from Borat?
    – Dodgie
    Dec 11, 2013 at 4:36
  • @Susan Gerard, ha, you say you've seen it in old movies? The plot thickens. Or by "old", do you mean 2006 (Borat)? And you've used it since you were young. I won't be rude and ask when that was. :)
    – zx81
    Dec 11, 2013 at 7:31
  • @Dodgie, you ask if it could be from Borat... So do you too see it as something that appeared recently? Or that became very common recently?
    – zx81
    Dec 11, 2013 at 7:32

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