What is the etymology of the term butthurt?

This link suggests an allusion to victims of anal rape. But the reference is not explicitly described as etymological, but merely suggestive. And the comments point out some logical problems with anal rape as the etymology.

  • The Metatalk link doesn't contain what I think is the correct interpretation, which is not primarily to do with rape in any shape or form. Maybe I the only one to think this, so here goes. When someone is called "butthurt" the speaker is usually quite a macho or rough kind of personality, and unlikely to be referring to a kid having been spanked or fallen off a bicycle onto his backside, or anything innocuous. It therefore presumably alludes to one who brings a hurt (injured or merely sore) butt on himself (or herself), by consenting to be anally penetrated, or by doing it to himself, 1/2 Sep 5, 2023 at 18:51
  • and then going on to whine about it. The idea is that he shouldn't be whining about it, because he consented to it, or in some other way is responsible for it. There is also possibly the implication that he is causing significant harm by whining, e.g. he could get his lover and/or himself into trouble, or gossiped about. The masculine, conventional, tone of voice of people who use "butthurt" suggests that they are against anal rape, and not in favor of all victims of it keeping quiet, which I think rules out the idea that it is primarily nonconsensual anal sex being alluded to. 2/2 Sep 5, 2023 at 19:10
  • "And the comments point out some logical problems with anal rape as the etymology." There are a large number of comments, more than fifty I think. Also there is a danger of link rot. So I think this statement could do with a bit of clarification. Which commenter(s) pointed that out? What exactly were the logical problems? Using the search function of my browser with "logical" turned up only: "etymological", "scatological", "psychological", "logical clarification", "Someone else's offense is not a logical argument", and nothing about a logical problem. Ctrl F "problem" also turned up nothing. Sep 5, 2023 at 19:46
  • The above is a serious, literal interpretation of the term, comparing itself with the false idea that it is primarily an allusion to victims of anal rape. There is a secondary, lighthearted or even flippant figurative use of "butthurt" which where it means someone lost at something, a game or battle, or even just a debate, and figuratively got "f****ed in the **s" and so have a "hurt butt", i.e. is "butthurt". Again, "hurt" could mean injured or just sore. There is a hint that he is a poor loser for figuratively complaining about his hurt butt. A more innocent idea is "he got a butt-kicking". Sep 8, 2023 at 8:39

1 Answer 1


The term comes from spanking, according the following source:


  • Butthurt is an online slang term used to describe a strongly negative or overemotional response. It is used to draw attention to a person who shows signs of being irritated due to a perceived insult, an unfavorable situation, or a lack of decent communication.

  • The term “butthurt” originates from spanking, the act of striking the buttocks of another person, which is often seen as a method of punishing a child. Though some cultures view this as an acceptable form of discipline, it can be interpreted as abusive corporal punishment. Online, one of the earliest archived mentions of “butthurt” appeared in a 1998 comment posted on the website of Swiss surrealist painter H. R. Giger.


From Quora:

  • “Hollywood has tossed Giger for more talented artists, and even those artist who can emulate his style, without the tears and the hurt butts. If giger reads this I would be amazed, not only that he can comprehend a bunch of letters placed into groups and spaced randomly to create words which in turn create sentances, but that he can even UNDERSTAND the INTERNET! GIGER is LAME. all he can do is rely on his ALIEN paintings to make him famous! Well I used to be impressed until I read all this BUTTHURT he has been going through. Oh poor baby Giger.”

(Posted on H R Giger's site.)

  • 3
    I would not consider knowyourmeme.com a very useful source
    – user171152
    Feb 18, 2018 at 17:40
  • 1
    According to the Wall Street Journal "In the 15 years since its founding, Know Your Meme has established itself as the ultimate authority on the jokes, turns of phrase and images that gain currency online." A helluva lot more authoritative than an anonymous StackExchanger.
    – Stuart F
    Sep 6, 2023 at 13:15

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