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Origin of “hating on”

Recently I've noticed an increasing use of the phrase to hate on [someone].

From what I can tell, the addition of on implies a jealousy or dislike for another person's talent or status. It doesn't appear that to hate and to hate on are directly interchangeable; one wouldn't say "I really hate on the taste of fish" for example.

The verb to hate was previously sufficient as far as I was aware, so where has the addition of the preposition on come from? My guess is America, but does anyone know where and when this originated?

  • I think the origin is going to be hard to find, if it's a novel construction, as I suspect. Anybody doing n-grams on it? Whoops, missed Alex's post linking to ngrams. Thanks, Alex. Feb 29, 2012 at 16:18
  • @Alex Oops, didn't search hard enough it seems. What's the done thing now - delete this one?
    – Widor
    Feb 29, 2012 at 16:23
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    One difference is that it is never used by the person who is doing the disliking; it is only used by the person feeling disliked, so it gives them a sense (imo) of power in the situation. "I don't know why I'm being hated on!" "Everybody's hating on me because they're just jealous." (This doesn't answer your question, but is one reason they are not interchangeable.) The term "haters" seems to popular of late also, I think for the same reason: to put oneself in a better position.
    – Julia
    Feb 29, 2012 at 23:38
  • @Julia: There might be a tendency towards what you say, but it's not at all a "rule" of usage. For example, I hate on you because you have what I want! is an unremarkable usage, imho. Mar 1, 2012 at 14:57

1 Answer 1


This usage seems to have started, or at least become more prominent, in the last 5-10 years. My guess is that, for example, "I really hate on the Simpsons!" is something akin to saying "I shower my ill will / shit [up]on the Simpsons!".

"Street-cred" slang commonly includes non-standard usage for prepositions, alongside assigning different meanings to existing words, and coining neologisms. I very much doubt this particular usage will have a single, citable, original "first use".

EDIT: Although I've now voted to close, this 1978 reference seems to be earlier than anything answered to the original. The origins lie in (probably, disadvantaged/marginalised) American black communities, considerably earlier than the expression's adoption by "hip-hop" subculture.

  • I thought "to hate on" meant "to make hateful remarks about". Have I got this wrong?
    – user16269
    Mar 1, 2012 at 0:55
  • @David Wallace: Not at all - I think that's another perfectly good paraphrasing. I was just trying to come up with paraphrasings using the preposition "on". But effectively, "about" means the same as "on" in this context, and I do have the feeling that "hate on" is more likely to be used when you mean "actively and negatively go on about something you don't like". Mar 1, 2012 at 1:06

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