About This Word

pics

or pix

[piks]

What does pics mean?

Pics is an informal shortening of "pictures," usually used in reference to sharing images online or through text messages.

Related words:

See how it's used

pics

nymag.com

Where does pics come from?

Since the 1880s, pic has been short for picture in art and photography. In the 1910s, the pics referred to motion pictures. But, with the rise of the internet and cell-phone cameras in the 2000s, pics soon became slang for photographs taken and sent in text/instant messages or posted in online forums or on social media.

The slang pics became very widespread in the 2010s. It appears in everyday speech and online writing. Celebrity magazine Us Weekly, for instance, has a column designated to celebrity photos called Hot Pics. Articles frequently use pics as a handy shortening in their headlines.

Pics is especially used for sexy or nude photographs, such as the notorious dick pic. A person might direct-message a romantic interest to send pics ... which we all know means send naked pics.

On internet forums, the expressions pics or GTFO and pics or it didn't happen ask a user to post pictures of something, often sexual in nature, as evidence. The latter is the so-called Rule 32 of the internet.

sayingimages.com

In the late 2010s, pics has become increasingly shorted to pix (cf., tix for tickets), sometimes used in the singular (e.g., an awesome pix).

Who uses pics?

On social media, people frequently post all sorts of photos with the hashtag "#pics."

Outside the hashtag, pics is used in casual speech and writing for "photographs" in general, whether professional or amateur.

For example

Perez in hot water over naughty pics of Miley

Irish Independent (headline), June, 2010

Han Solo Mudtrooper from Hot Toys revealed in new pics

Max Evry, ComingSoon.net (headline), June, 2018

looking at their baby pics, i cried. they're so cute. i want to adopt them or adore them more. / i'm planning it to be my icons for the whole week.

@legendarypjm, June, 2018

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