The Internet Has a New Term: IJBOL

But writing about it might doom it
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 13, 2023 7:59 AM CDT
The Internet Has a New Term: IJBOL
   (Gratsias Adhi Hermawan)

Think of it as the great-grandson of LOL, after ROFL and LMAO. The term is IJBOL, which stands for "I just burst out laughing." Last month, Mashable christened it the "summer's ironic term" and now the New York Times is catching up with the trend. The "internet wants to revitalize laughing online with a new term," writes Shirley Wang. The odd-looking ijbol actually entered the Urban Dictionary in 2009 but then languished, explains Mashable. However, for some inexplicable reason, it caught fire in forums for the music genre K-pop last year and has since "escaped the confines of fandom (and niche ironic circles) and gone mainstream," writes Elena Cavender.

A post at KnowYourMeme tracks the first viral tweet using the phrase back to 2021, but it notes they became more prevalent this year. (Behold one from July. Others feature VP Kamala Harris, known for her propensity to, yes, burst out laughing.) The Times reports that phrase is particularly popular with Gen Z-ers, who view the earlier terms as outdated. "My friends, we're all around the same age, like 18 to early 20s," college student Sebastian Champagne tells the newspaper. "So a lot of us were like, 'This is going to be our word now!'" But the story also gets meta, quoting City University of New York prof Michelle McSweeney as saying that having the word explained in a newspaper might be enough to torpedo its popularity. (More language stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.