Every gen­er­ation has its own unique vocab­ulary, and Hillsdale stu­dents like to use a spe­cific word: “based.” But slang comes and goes, and it’s time for “based” to go. 

Despite the preva­lence of this word, many stu­dents still have no idea what it means or where it comes from. 

Urban Dic­tionary, the rec­og­nized expert on all things slang, offers a concise def­i­n­ition for the word: “A word used when you agree with some­thing; or when you want to rec­ognize someone for being them­selves, i.e. coura­geous and unique or not caring what others think.”

‘25 Garrett Goolsby said he remembers an older def­i­n­ition for the word. “I think the modern usage of the word is entirely incorrect in a his­torical sense, because it used to mean some­thing entirely dif­ferent,” Goolsby said. 

Specif­i­cally, according to, “based” used to be syn­onymous with “crackhead”, until the rapper Lil B took matters into his own hands. “Based is a slang term that orig­i­nally meant to be addicted to crack cocaine (or acting like you were), but was reclaimed by rapper Lil B for being yourself and not caring what others think of you,” the website says. 

“Based is a great word being overused at this campus,” said freshman Kirsten Lopez, who also points to an even deeper issue with the word. “I knew it was a problem when pro­fessors were saying it in class.”

Slang has no greater enemy than the awareness of older adults. Now that the pro­fessors have learned the word, “based” is doomed. 

Perhaps that’s for the best. While Lil B suc­ceeded admirably in trans­forming “based” from a synonym for a drug addict to a common com­pliment, the history of the word doesn’t dis­appear. And whether pro­fessors have entirely suc­ceeded in acquiring the term for their own use or not, no slang has the same value once it gets too much use. 

So for your benefit and out of respect for the sordid past of the word, it’s time to give up “based.” Let the pro­fessors have their new catch­phrase and open your minds to more descriptive words instead. 

It’s about time we made it “cringe” to say “based.”