TikTok is a minefield of slang words and shorthand terms that could land you in deep trouble if not used in the right context. When we consider the new lingo, “mid” in this context … Is it okay to use the word on TikTok? What does it mean? When is it appropriate to use it?
Worry not! We got you covered! Here’s everything we have dredged up about the term “mid” and the implications of the vernacular in the TikTok universe.
What does “Mid” mean on TikTok?
Mid is the truncated form of the word “middling” which means something that is “moderate or average in size, amount, or rank”(Oxford languages definition). The adjective has become a part of the everyday vernacular thanks to the eponymous trend on TikTok with over 1 billion hits on #Mid at present on TikTok.
“Mid” is a mildly derogatory term used to express discontent or displeasure with a situation or experience. However, it is not quite a piece of red-hot iron that’d scald you, if casually used. It came into circulation amidst Gen Z to emphasize the mediocrity of something overhyped in general.
For instance, if you find a film that is hyped up to be the best of the year or best in a saga, you may call it “mid”. It is an expression to succinctly class something as subpar at the best and nothing to go gaga over.
- Example 1: I don’t know what all the hype was about! I think the movie was mid.
- Example 2: The season collection is pretty mid! I don’t find myself getting excited over anything.
The Urban Dictionary defines “mid” as a term “used to insult or degrade an opposing opinion, labeling it as average or poor quality.” Why it suddenly became a trendy word has quite a story behind it.
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What’s the Origin of the word ‘Mid’?
The shorthand itself has been around since mid-2020; however, it suddenly gained traction when it was used by Maxwell Jacob Friedman “MJF”, an American pro-Wrestler signed to All Elite Wrestling. At a match in Cincinnati, Ohio, MJF embraced his role as the ‘heel’ to dismiss the Midwest (of America) as mediocre. “It’s called the Midwest, because every single thing in it is mid. Skyline Chili. Mid. Your Cincinnati Reds who haven’t won a World Series since 1990. Mid. And every single person who lives here, is mid,” — he taunted the Midwestern audience in the heart of Cincinnati thus.
It turned out to be a watershed moment that gave birth to the sensational Muh-muh-muh-Mid memes on TikTok, where variations of the sound clip became the voiceover for users to expose their real thoughts about everything they found subpar.
Who uses the word “mid” on TikTok?
Since it became popularized and a part of the colloquial vocabulary, its usage permeated into all age groups to vocalize raw and polarized opinions about something generally raved over by others
. Videos with the #Mid tag started surging the platform in the latter half of 2021, in which users pass their personal verdicts on anything overpraised as barely tolerable or commonplace, be it films, food, or restaurants — just something ordinary, not the best, but not the worst either.
However, things aren’t as black and white, as there is a hoard of videos under #Mid where users stage “messed up” scenes to give exaggerated feedback on the outlets or products of popular brands.
Naturally, nothing can take the predictable route on TikTok, as the term itself became a tool to insult someone’s work or appearance as mediocre. The instances of users leaving comments under videos with such a snide remark are too many to be neglected.
Ironically, the term has now become a defensive tool used by artists or creators on TikTok to brand their video or piece of creation as “mid” as a preemptive measure to thwart unwanted attention or scrutiny of their work.
In general, the scope of the #Mid trend on TikTok has upsized itself to encapsulate the emotions and disillusionment experienced by a creator due to a particular situation. This is to the point in the video below, where the TikToker unveils her conflicting feelings about being in a “situationship.”
What are popular “Mid” trends on TikTok?
While the sound extract with the original audio started the trend on TikTok, it was the sound-altered variant of the same that truly set it ablaze and elevated it to an epic-level meme. One of the altered versions (used in the video below) involves the mutated original audio embellished with the vine boom explosion effect to mimic a punchline delivery.
Reply to @emma_bass_slayer0 Becky is mid🤷🏻♂️
The most popular of the altered memes is the pitch-altered version, where Friedman’s voice is digitally tweaked to emulate the typical (and comical) chipmunk voice. It is by far the most popular sound under the #Mid tad with over 182,400 videos on TikTok.
Perhaps the most intriguing of the #Mid videos is the sonorous counterblast statement — “I am not mid”. This ended up being a sidekick to the original trend, used by users to crown themselves or something they find awesome as the opposite of mediocre.
Although MJF used the term to throw verbal punches at the Midwest, the TikTok hashtag was not originally intended to roast its people or the locus of the Midwest itself. That doesn’t mean that some Midwesterners would pass on the opportunity to lampoon themselves, all for the purpose of entertainment.
Common insinuations of the word “Mid” Explained
When it comes to guessability, the shorthand “mid” ranks high in difficulty level. This is partly due to the various connotations the word could allude to if presented with just the hashtag and no context. Let’s probe a little further to grasp the real spectrum of the term (within and beyond TikTok).
As we already discussed, the recent and most popular definition of “mid” as used on TikTok is mediocre or middling. However, mid could also refer to a type of weed that is inferior in quality. If someone gets ousted for smoking “mid” joint, then it is an unconcealed jeer at them for resorting to “medium quality” or “mid-grade” marijuana that falls short in quality and potency as opposed to the highly potent “dank” weeds.
“Mid” on TikTok is also commonly associated with the clothing and fashion industry to denote midsize on the fatness spectrum. As a part of the modern movements to incite body confidence and fat acceptance, the midsize hashtag is widely used by creators to promote body positivity and cease fat shaming.
Mid is also a frequented shorthand on video sharing platforms like YouTube to refer to tier lists or s-tiers where creators rank characters, brands or any things they like in a list that dwindles from the most favored at the very top. However, in the context of e-Sports and MOBA games like Mobile Legends or League of Legends, “mid” refers to the middle lane. The player in the mid-lane is also called a “mid” to address their mid-laner status.
In conclusion, the easiest and common allusion made by the term “mid” in any context is to “middle”. However, the recent coloring it received has unhinged its simplistic “middle ground”-esque sense as a slang word to specifically dismiss the worth of something as not deserving of positive attention or praise.
Is it okay to use the word casually? It is; as long you don’t make things personal and dismiss someone’s appearance or performance as “mid”, you might not get into arguments over it. The currency of the term itself is now taking a slide down the curve, true to the transient nature of TikTok trends. However, it is safe to still be aware of the word to know when to use it or realize someone’s insinuation if it is thrown at you.
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