Rectangular-ish rocks forming a foundation of sorts


Meaning: Boldly endorsing unconventional beliefs

Antonym: Cringe

Originated in: 🇺🇸 United States of America

Original quote: Basehead

Someone being based means that he supports or does something most people would not dare to do. He is being honest about himself with the world at large and not trying to hide it. Typically it’s something people find laudable or wish they could do if not for social standards.

Often this just gets watered down to “I like this thing he said”, even if it’s a very ordinary position, but the true meaning of “based” applies whether you agree with someone or not. You just endorse his honesty and resistance to peer pressure.

Being based is still usually viewed as a strictly positive thing. Such a person is a free-thinker and seen not held back by society. Of course, logically, a based person is just as likely to be regressing from the truth. However, amicable disagreement with those who believe differently with you is one of the most healthy and mature features a person can develop. People should not be shunned just for going against society’s zeitgeist, even if he is actually wrong.

Historically, based has not had such a positive connotation. It actually derives as a reference to drug addicts who abused the free base form of cocaine (commonly called “crack cocaine” due to its appearance). Such people were called baseheads or just “based”. Non-addicts were then derided for acting in ways perceived as weird or like a cocaine addict with the same word.

The word’s fortune began to change in the late aughts when rapper Lil B began using the word to describe himself. Admitting that he was rather weird and didn’t fit in became a source of pride and distinction. He found it empowering to do whatever he wanted without caring about what others thought. His fans saw this this as laudable—he wasn’t trying to cover up who he was; he was being authentic—and they began using it in this positive way. Eventually, the word was reappropriated for this encouragement of genuineness. It then spread much more online in memes about sharing more controversial opinions moreso than just one’s personal behavior.

Being honest about who we are and what we believe is definitely a positive in society. Deception and being unwillingly to share disagreement are both negative things. However, it’s also important to consider others. Despite how it’s commonly used, being based doesn’t mean that people agree with you. Even beyond that, having others agree with you doesn’t make you right. Often, people use the justification that they are “just being themselves” to be inconsiderate to others, hold onto false beliefs, and just generally stagnate in their lives. It’s good to be honest about what we believe and how we act, but it’s arguably more important to continually reevaluate what you believe, why you believe it, and how you live your life to continue improving as a person.