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The world has finally come around to the very Irish idea of being 'shook'



‘SHOOK’ IS A brilliantly Irish term used to describe feeling frightened, scared or generally being unable to cope.

Every single one of us has uttered the phrase, “He looked shook” upon seeing an elderly relative we haven’t seen in a while. And who among us hasn’t declared, “I feel a bit shook,” after a midweek night out?

shook Source: Irish Independent

shook2 Source: Herald

If you’ve been paying attention to social media lately, you may have noticed that more and more non-Irish people are using the word in what seems to be the Irish context.

Just last week, Katy Perry declared that the Katycats were “shook” after she released her new single Rise.

Singer Troye Sivan proclaimed that he was “shook” after appearing on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.

And this lad felt “shook” after eating some chicken.

A quick search of the word reveals countless tweets.

It seems that celebrities and shadiness is what makes people the most “shook”.

People are loving it.

So, where did it come from and how has it suddenly found worldwide popularity?

Like most slang terms, it has its roots in hip-hop. Arguably the most famous usage of the word come in Mobb Deep’s 1995 classic Shook Ones (Part II). And since then it has taken on a life of its own.

A cursory Google search reveals that it’s featured in Nicki Minaj’s Roman’s Revenge 2.0 (“I got ‘em scared, shook and panicking”), Lil Wayne’s We Be Steady Mobbin’ (“And if he ain’t shook, I’m gonna shake him”), Jay-Z’s Come And Get Me (“How dare you look at Jigga like I’m shook like boo”) and 2Pac’s Thugz Mansion (“Seen a show with Marvin Gaye last night, it had me shook”).

It was even used by Little Mix back in 2012 prompting this Twitter user to declare that they had “INVENTED” the term.

It’s unclear why it has taken on such a life of its own on the internet over the past few months, but one thing is for sure: it is here to stay.


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About the author:

Amy O'Connor

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