A t-shirt was given to me as a present by a friend of mine. There is a cherokee chief head image and a text on it which is written "ILL OR NAH". I am hesitating about wearing it because i do not know its meaning. Does anyone know what it means.

  • It could well be that the chief's name, phonetically, was "Ill-or-nah". But I don't know how one would be expected to know that (if true), outside of a small community of "insiders". (There is an Instagram contributor who calls herself "illornah", and it's also used as a hashtag, so presumably it means something to the "in" crowd.) – Hot Licks Apr 12 '15 at 20:50
  • Nah, ain't right! – alx Apr 12 '15 at 22:35

This is what I thought originally

'Nah' is a distorted 'no'. The whole phrase is a vulgar version of saying 'Are you ill?' or 'Are you crazy?', used to start a conflict.

But this is totally wrong, see Janus Bahs Jacquet's comment for the answer.

According to his comment that I totally agree with the meaning is: It's cool, isn't it? or Is it cool or not?

In this case, ill = sick, cool, awesome see urban dictionary for ill http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=ill

and nah = 'or what', 'no', 'not' http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Nah

There are series of t-shirts with 'or nah' funny distorted phrases, for example:

  • You got a bae or nah?
  • You mad or nah?
  • Do you even lift or nah?
  • Hype or nah?
  • Or nah?
  • 1
    I've never seen the phrase used that way. I have only ever seen it with ill being used to mean ‘sick’ (in the sense of ‘badass, awesome’) and or nah being more like ‘or what?’. In other words, whenever I've seen the phrase, it's been “Is this ill or nah?” meaning “Is this awesome or what?”, to emphasise that it is indeed very awesome. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Apr 12 '15 at 20:46
  • A great explanation, you should make it an answer – alx Apr 12 '15 at 22:01

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