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.


3 Answers 3


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


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)


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.


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