@YassifyBot: what the heck does the Twitter account mean?

Yesterday, in reference to the fact that some people think urban expansion is putting our oceans at risk, a Twitter account with the handle @YassifyBot popped up. It was a throwback to a blue-sky, viral Twitter strategy from last year when a bot paid homage to local authors and musicians by using social media to promote their back catalogue. This is what “Yassify” means: “Definitely should have your references checked.”

As the name suggests, this is a hash-tagged, name-salad-like collection of reimagined pop-culture references. So far, it has become the must-follow account on Twitter. Example Yassify and the day that was are just a taste of what to expect.

The most outrageous references may be temporarily overwhelmed by the sheer volume of replies and retweets they receive, so there will inevitably be a few questionable ones (see: “SeaWorld IRL” and “Tickle Me Elmo”). The only beauty of this merry-go-round of internet comments is that it gives us a fair snapshot of what so many are commenting on. They’re not too concerned about their niche niche niche niche. They just want your attention and they’re willing to get their cake and eat it too. If, by chance, you were too distracted by one of the comments to learn the derivation of the name, well, here’s everything you needed to know about it from the culture department at Debrett’s, the official dictionary of 21st-century lingo.

Though cleverly of mixed origin, the idea for the name probably started in 1989 at a conference for programmers. Some of its early variations were “gangsta” and “Yassify”. This didn’t last long and by the mid-1990s, the name was being used to combine a few words together – like “rabble”, “mouth” and “ripper” – for a sort of Dr Donahue for the digital age. That’s where the plural – “up” – comes from.

The way back

By 2005, it was known as Eliza

This was obviously very unfashionable

So the full name was de-sexified into “YassifyBot” by Twitter

Later in 2006 – yep, when you were clearly a baby – you might call it Nerdybot

And suddenly, that was a whole new genus

We’ve had an official description before …

Subtitles: he goes by the handle #RN2ND2RL in our local parlance … you can refer to him as RoboCop or Morbius. By the mid-2000s, that was being used mostly for the unlikely concept of an English human-technology hybrid; thanks to also-ran BBC3 drama Pox Control, they went full-on Joker.

Here are the keys to lookup

To examine the dialect of the account in order to better understand its meaning, simply watch this Fidget Spinner-themed tutorial and you’ll get the lay of the land. And of course, you can go looking for some seriously useful slang references.

If you’re someone who tends to go for extra-salty swearwords, you’ll be looking for Urban Dictionary references like “aurreekin moanin syllogism” and “hydra nut” to find whatever they don’t want you to know. You may also be the type of person who, if you have any more friends who use Yassify, will invariably assume that they’re just having a bit of fun, and that their really hard drive has gone down the toilet again. If that’s you, keep on reading.

You might also want to look for Twitter links to related stories about a variety of “food causes” – like the guy who wants to push chicken into space. Seriously, that’s a thing.

And if you really want to take it out of your portfolio, perhaps you should just start posting #Yassify over and over again, just for kicks.

P.S: When we report on a particular trend, we’re conscious that readers may need to pay attention to the source material. That said, if you’ve got any suggestions for possible names that the account could be called, email: [email protected].

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