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Respect bro!! , you never hear anything like ''Fear, man'' or ''honesty, man.'' used in the same sense, its interesting.

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    You do hear kudos, props, congratulations, etc., though. It’s the same thing; there’s just an understood “I offer you my…” or “You have my…” that’s left out because it’s not necessary to say it. Commented Jun 26, 2019 at 14:58

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The Green’s Dictionary of Slang suggests that the expression originated in the black communities and is from the ‘90s:

Respect:

(W.I./UK/US black teen) a phr. used to accord the subject the respect they have earned on the basis of earlier positive or praiseworthy actions; also used as a greeting.

  • 1991 [UK] Reeves & Mortimer Vic Reeves Big Night Out n.p.: Yo! Respect, Dennis!

  • 1997 [UK] C. Newland Scholar 46: Respec’ cuz, for that ironin’ lick.

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  • Yes, and it is still very much in use!
    – Lambie
    Commented Jun 26, 2019 at 15:42

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