What is the origin of the slang phrase hating on?

Google Trends suggests that the phrase did not enter the lexicon until early 2009. I'm curious where the phrase originated.

Google Trends results for "hating on."

As Stefano Palazzo noted, it appears that the Google Trends data is suspect. I did a search on a lyrics search engine and found a reference to a 2003 song named Hatin' On You by American R&B singer-songwriter Amerie, released July 30, 2002. So the phrase goes back at least that far, and probably farther.

  • Maybe it's an intensification of the older phrase ragging on (someone)?
    – Alex
    May 29, 2011 at 3:20
  • Maybe, but what caused it to go from obscurity to an exposition of search traffic starting in early 2009? Did it appear on a television show? In the lyrics for a song? May 29, 2011 at 3:24
  • The hunch that I've been trying to verify is that it comes from terms like hate crimes and hate speech. But I can't find anything specific to verify that intuition.
    – senderle
    May 29, 2011 at 3:50
  • i bet it was coined in relation to the phrase "move on". It's the diabolical opposite of moving on, hate on.
    – Chris
    Aug 10, 2012 at 7:31
  • It should be pointed out that any effort to collect usage data on a phrase such as "hating on" without somehow accounting for the parts of speech being employed is going to be hopelessly muddled. If you look at the Ngram there are many, many uses that are unrelated to the sort of usage you're presumably trying to track. In fact, about the closest "hit" you will find is "I want to say a word in favor of hating on principle."
    – Hot Licks
    Mar 16, 2016 at 3:18

11 Answers 11


Trawling USENET, the earliest reference I found was a review posted from a website to rec.music.hip-hop 19th August 1996:

Jay-Z "Can't Knock the Hustle" (Roc-A-Fella)

O-D.U.B.: Man...and I thought "Ain't No N-" was radio-friendly...guess Jay Z one upped himself on this aimed-for-plat-status single. I'm not hating on it either...it flows well...I'd dance to it in a club and Mary J sounds good. It's not a hip hop classic by any means, that's for sure... Take it for what it's worth...

This also matches up with Sam's answer pointing to a track recorded between 1997 and 1999, and pointing out "most early references to this phrase seem to come out of hip-hop and rap culture".

Edit: Found an earlier reference in alt.rap to "hatin on" from 18th July 1996, again about Jay-Z:

Yo... I could bet my life...that blahzay blahzay new album Blah, Blah,
Blah Will be The SHIT!!!! Thats all i gota say...
And for all you NaS haters...Yo... you all just dont know good shit when
it comes out your ass...so fuck you all
And...JZ's lyrics are alright...but i think his beats are wack as hell...
I dont like his style...its bullshit..
"How you like me now...i go PoW!!!!"

Well 2 outta 3 aint too bad, but take another listen to Jay-Z and peep
his ability to flow with the track while effortlessy damn near
speaking to you person to person. But if you your just hatin on his
material rap style, I can unserstand that cause that shit has more
than had its turn.

Again from rap/hip-hop culture and interesting to see the nearby haters.

  • 1
    Here are four pre-2003 references, only one of which has any overt connection to hip-hop. But the others clearly relate to black sub-culture, of which hip-hop was really just a small outcrop. One of them is from 1978, which is well before I ever heard of hip-hop (and yes, I was around at the time - but we were into "underground rock" back then! :) Mar 1, 2012 at 1:23

It depends on what you regard as the same phrase. For example, Shakespeare's sonnet 149 ends

But, love, hate on, for now I know thy mind,
Those that can see thou lov'st, and I am blind.

This is an intransitive use. The transitive use where X is hating on Y seems to mean X hates Y is more modern (and unnecessary). Here is an example from the letters page of the April 2000 edition of Vibe

Why are people hating on Cash Money? I understand what Shaleena Smith means, but come on, let them experience their five minutes of success. Let them express their happiness. Don't hate the playas, hate the game. - Janae Podgett, Jamaica, NY

There are several uses (with a g) in Raaid Khan's poem Stop Da Hatin from September 2004.

  • 3
    The first is the verb "hate" plus the adverb "onward", not the preposition "on". Transitivity has nothing to do with it.
    – Ben Voigt
    May 29, 2011 at 13:48
  • 1
    I like most of this answer, but disagree with your “unnecessary”. Hating on Cash Money has different connotations from just hating Cash Money, or from any other substitute I can think of — hating on means something more like expressing hate towards. Like many slang coinages, it gets much of its popularity from effectively articulating a concept that didn’t have a good expression before.
    – PLL
    Jun 9, 2011 at 4:35

It may be fair to assume that there's just no data prior to 2009, as suggested by Wikipedia:

Originally, Google neglected updating Google Trends on a regular basis. In March 2007, internet bloggers noticed that Google had not added new data since November 2006, and Trends was updated within a week. Google did not update Trends from March until July 30, and only after it was blogged about, again.[2] Google now claims to be "updating the information provided by Google Trends daily; Hot Trends is updated hourly."

— (Google Trends)

Note that it says "Google did not update Trends from March until July 30 [2007][1]", i.e. it's missing slightly less than one and a half years. But as we can't study the inner workings of Google Trends, lack of data still seems more likely than the phrase suddenly springing into existence. A period of 1½ years for it to pick up seems somewhat reasonable.

1: although the phrasing is slightly ambiguous, the source, by its date of publication, suggests 2007

Note: this argument is of course flawed, and further evidence is needed to verify it - please take it as just an hypothesis.

  • I think you're right. I found a song titled Hatin' On You that was written back in 2002. So it's obvious that this slang goes back further than 2009. May 29, 2011 at 3:45
  • I think it's clear that hate on is more than two years old. But that doesn't really answer the OP's question!
    – senderle
    May 29, 2011 at 3:49
  • 1
    Indeed. Though, If I'm allowed to read the graph correctly (i.e. naïvely), Google does assert that there is no statistically significant usage on the internet. Which seems extremely unlikely for even a very rare phrase. Confer: very strange results for "the dogs of war", suggesting the phrase sprung up in 2007. This clearly makes Google Trends unreliable for queries like "when did this phrase become popular". May 29, 2011 at 4:01

As others have shown, Google Trends is simply inaccurate on this. If you do a Google News search for "hating on" you'll find several entries from before 2009. The earliest I saw was from 2001.

The earliest reference I could find was on Dr. Dre's album The Chronic 2001. From the song Some L.A. Niggaz:

Anybody hatin on us can [do something unpleasant]

According to Wikipedia, the album was recored between 1997 and 1999, so it existed at least at that point. Most early references to this phrase seem to come out of hip-hop and rap culture.


Actually I first heard it as a kid on an NYC subway in 1992 (I would have been about nine.) The phrase is at least as old as that and probably a bit before; it's origin is from Black American English, not rap music itself (the words out of the hooker's mouth in Taxi Driver are a variant.)


I cannot help with the direct history of this phrase, but the form seems similar to:

Pile on the hate

They keep on hating

In terms of prepositions, on seems to be only real candidate. I find all of the following awkward:

Stop hating at me

Stop hating to me

Stop hating by me

Stop hating up me

Stop hating with me

While you could suggest that the preposition is unneeded ("Stop hating me"), using hating this way changes the connotation from an emotion to an action. "Hating on" something is more akin to ranting or raging than simply stewing in invisible disgust.

As such, I wouldn't be surprised to find that this phrase has no common starting point or, if it does, it will be ridiculously difficult to find. Henry's answer regarding Shakespeare is a good example of how hard this will be to track down.

I found plenty of older uses using NGrams. Here are two from before 1900:

Well I knew The purport of his message, now declared; 'Tis such a one as foe might send to foe; The torture well becomes the Torturer! Then let him wreak his utmost hate on me, Loose all his stores of wrath; on me be thrown

The hit was in a review of Medwin's "Prometheus Bound" (translated from Aeschylus) which was first published in 1832.

The second was published in Frank Leslie's Pleasant Hours Volume 30. The book bears the date 1881.

You have looked scorn and hate on me often with these handsome eyes, you have railed at me often with these handsome lips, and now I will take righteous vengeance upon both.

However, both of these are much close to the idea that someone is piling on or actively causing hate to someone than "hating on" implies. But stepping from this to "hating on" seems reasonable.

  • 3
    Neither of your examples match the question. In both, the words "hate" and "on" happen to be adjacent, but "hate" is used as a noun, while the prepositional phrase actually modifies the verb ("wreak" or "looked") to which "hate" is a direct object. (Although in the second, it seems gramatically incorrect. Use o the adverb hatefully would be better). Such are the problems of phrase search.
    – Ben Voigt
    May 29, 2011 at 13:48

It comes from black culture. Artists like Betty Davis referred to "haters" in her song "if I'm in luck" and it was repopularized in Bay Area Street lexicon back in the early nineties with artists like MC pooh and Spice 1 "Playa hatas". After the explosion of a favorite disparaging phrase calling some one a Playa Hater, for lack of appreciations for slick behavior, Hater resurfaced as the quick direct aggressive retart to someone disapproving of your idea or approach or your I'll gotten gains. All in all, black culture is the reason.


The practice of using the preposition "on" as in "peace on you" or "love on him" goes back to the 70s at least. (I remember my college roommate being fond of the use.) Saying "hate on Fred Flibber" to suggest you wish Fred ill would not be at all inconsistent with this practice, and likely has been done on occasion all along.

And the use of the adverb "on" to indicate a continuing condition, as in "love on" or "boogie on", has been well established for decades as well. (The song "Boogie On" was recorded by Alvin Lee and Company in 1969 and released in 1972.)

The use of the gerund form of a verb such as "hurt" or "hate" to replace the equivalent noun, as a sort of emphasis, is also a well-established practice in urban vernacular. I can't guess at an origin date, but there's no reason to believe it does not go back 50 years or more, given that it's a perfectly legitimate construction.

And there's certainly nothing "shocking" to this 66-year-old white Midwesterner in "Don't be hatin'!"

All in all, there's nothing remarkable about "hating on". If it has obtained some sort of recent popularity it's likely due to a use in popular music or in a movie, but this would merely be briefly pumping up a construct that has lurked in the language for decades.


The two earliest matches for "hate on"/"hatin' on" that Elephind newspaper database searches turn up are from the same San Francisco Bay Area publication, in 1998 and 1999.

From Earl Vanbuskirk, Jr., "They Want It All: LOX," in the [Pittsburg, California] Los Medanos College Experience (February 27, 1998):

As for all of you that are still caught up in this East Coast/West Coast drama, let it rest in peace with Pac and Biggie. Stop hatin’ on Bad Boy and show love where love is due and give The LOX their props. After all it’s all music, right?

And from Keyairra Patterson, "United We Stand Divided We Fall," in the [Pittsburg, California] Los Medanos College Experience (November 6, 1999):

The problem here if you haven't noticed, there is no community unity or at least not enough and it is accompanied with two sicknesses which make it even worse. These sicknesses are hate and discrimination and whether you accept it or not, those are sicknesses. You may not agree with a lot of things people do or even say but that doesn't give you the right to hate them or hate on them. You may despise the things that people do or the way people live, but hate is a strong word and you really should be careful when you use it because it promotes bad carma.

The second instance quoted above is interesting because it indicates that—even at that early date—the writer sees a clear distinction between "hating" and "hating on." Regrettably, she doesn't spell out exactly what that distinction is.

Evidently, the expression was firmly in place in the Bay Area by the end of the 1990s. It is not at all clear, however, where the expression originated. Hugo's citations of USENET occurrences from 1996 indicate that there was plenty of time for the expression to have originated elsewhere in the United States and migrated to the Bay Area by 1998.


The movie Taxi Driver showed a scene where some black hookers are fighting and one of them yells "Don't be hating". It was so random and I was shocked to hear the phrase. It seems to me that this was a common phrase in the culture at that time and it made its way back into the mainstream.


A line from the movie Malibu's Most Wanted that appeared widely in the previews was "Don't be hatin". It got traction and I suspect morphed into "hatin on".

  • 1
    Only problem is that movie came out in 2003; see imdb.com/title/tt0328099. "Hating on" didn't arrive until 2009. May 29, 2011 at 3:29
  • These things take time. Facebook didn't get started till 2005 and itself didn't get traction till a few years later. I mention Facebook because today a meme like this would travel and develop much faster, but from 2003 to 2009 doesn't seem all that unreasonable for a phrase to morph. In all seriousness, this is as good a theory as I can offer. :) May 29, 2011 at 3:31
  • 2
    I don't believe Malibu's Most Wanted is responsible for any trends.
    – Sam
    May 29, 2011 at 4:18
  • 2
    -1, sorry. If you can find some sort of reference for this I can revert the downvote, but both the idea that Malibu's Most Wanted is responsible for "don't be hatin'" and that this phrase morphed into "hatin on" seem unlikely to me.
    – MrHen
    May 29, 2011 at 12:29

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