A user, on Reddit, responded to a question, about what will become obsolete in the the next decade, with 'magazines.'

Then another user responded with 'True and awful. What if the tablet dies and I need to poop?' And finally a user replied to that with 'To the shampoo bottle with your bad self. In Canada we have English and French so that's twice the reading.'

I don't understand the phrase 'To the shampoo bottle with you bad self', I can understand that he's talking about resorting to reading the shampoo bottle instead of magazines or tablets and whatever, but the 'bad self' part, I don't understand.

I googled the phrase to no avail, most of the search results are that of a song by the name of 'Go on with Your Bad Self' by Consumer Rapport and a few links to UrbanDictionary but they are all in reference to the same phrase as the song title.

2 Answers 2


Your bad self is slang:

Currently cited by the OED as the first instance of the word superbad, Brown’s 1970 song “Super Bad” offers an excellent example of Brown engaging with popular African-American slang use of bad in the period. In this context, when Brown sings, “I’ve got soul and I’m super bad,” he’s offering up a boast about his talent, not angling towards any self-criticism.

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As noted above, Brown’s positive spin on bad was not exactly new. Bad has been used to mean “good” or “excellent” since the 19th century, particularly in the jazz world, before fully exploding into African-American culture in the 1960s. Brown also deployed this sense of bad in other songs, most notably in his 1968 song “Say It Loud — I’m Black and I’m Proud”, which begins his exhortation to the studio performers to play and/or sing “with your bad self.”


In African American use of English, words sometimes have intentionally inverted meanings. This has its origins in African languages. For example, in Mendekan, where the left hand is never used for greeting or eating, the left hand is referred to as the "bölö nyuman" - "the good hand," even though touching another person's is considered undesirable. In African American English, "bad" means "exceptionally good." A European American parallel word choice would be "awesome" or "terrific." The complete expression is "Go on with your bad self!" meaning, "Keep doing what you're doing - you're looking good and doing fine!" It is often used as a compliment to members of the opposite sex. The earliest recorded example I have found is in the 1967 hit single "Oogum Boogum" by Benton Wood. His usage may reflect popularity of the term in at least the last half of the 1960s, although it's usage most probably predates this.

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