I wrote an article using "select" in my sentence and had the text edited a machine editor that used the "baddest" in place of select. I checked all dictionaries but to no avail. Even Middle English did not use baddest in the sense of select. Now I would like to know if anyone can help clarify the meaning. Thanks

  • 3
    Could you give the complete sentence? Which meaning of the word "select" did you have in mind.
    – djna
    Feb 23 '16 at 19:14
  • 1
    "Baddest" is quite informal, and should only be used by someone familiar with both the idiom and the audience.
    – Hot Licks
    Feb 23 '16 at 19:15

Check the Urban Dictionary.

Baddest, in Urban slang, means the coolest, the toughest, the best.

Select in convention usage can have that kind of connotation:

this was a select gathering

implying a very special group. Slang usage of select has a similar meaning:

man that girl is select

meaning "classy" or "of quality".

Note that the slang usage of "bad" meaning tough or good has obvious potential for confusion; use it with care. Baddest as the superlative of bad in this sense is less ambiguous, as it's not "correct" English it's more obviously slang. There does not seem to be a superlative for "select"; i.e. the slang dictionary does not give "selectest" as word in common usage.


Here's a well-known song from 1973. See if you can get the sense of how baddest is used:

Jim Croce – Bad, Bad Leroy Brown Lyrics

Well the South side of Chicago/Is the baddest part of town/And if you go down there/You better just beware/Of a man named Leroy Brown

Now Leroy more than trouble/You see he stand 'bout six foot four/All the downtown ladies call him "Treetop Lover"/All the men just call him "Sir"

[Chorus] And it's bad, bad Leroy Brown/The baddest man in the whole damned town/Badder than old King Kong/And meaner than a junkyard dog

Note that typical urban English markings, such as the omission of to be ("Leroy more than trouble") and third-person singular without the s ("he stand..."), indicate extremely informal usage.


I am not providing any sources, as I did not look this up. The term "baddest" is generally used in a describing sense, for example. The restaurant was poor, in the baddest way! I would suggest there are not many situatutions where it would be an appropriate replacement for the word "select".

  • Welcome to EL&U. If you continue to frequent the site, you'll find that a thoughtful approach to questions and answers is a community expectation. The users in the EL&U community appreciate insight, evidence and fluency. Your answer overlooks the equivocal nature of "bad," which in some colloquial contextx can mean "good" too.
    – Rob_Ster
    Feb 24 '16 at 1:07

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