[ shook ]
/ ʃʊk /
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See synonyms for: shook / shooker / shookest on Thesaurus.com

simple past tense of shake.
Nonstandard. a past participle of shake.
Also shook up .Slang. strongly affected by an event, circumstance, etc.; emotionally unsettled: She was so shook she couldn't speak.
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Origin of shook

First recorded in 1890–95, for the adjective

Other definitions for shook (2 of 2)

[ shook ]
/ ʃʊk /

a set of staves and headings sufficient for one hogshead, barrel, or the like.
a set of the parts of a box, piece of furniture, or the like, ready to be put together.
a shock of sheaves or the like.

Origin of shook

First recorded in 1760–70; short for shook cask, variant of shaken cask, one dismounted for shipment
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What else does shook mean?

Shook is the past tense form of shake, used as a slang term to describe feelings ranging from discombobulation and fear to rage and elation, kind of like “all shaken up.”

Where did the term shook come from?

The earliest account of the word shook (as past tense of shake) goes back to Old English.

We can find the figurative shook, or extremely upset or moved in some way, in the 1800s. It can be positive or negative, such as being shook with a religious experience or being shook by a catastrophe. In the 19th century, shook was also slang for “drunk” among some Australian, Irish, and U.S. speakers.

Shook (meaning shaken) became prominent in hip-hop starting in the 1990s. Some musicians, such as the New York-based group Mobb Deep, released songs that used shook as a standalone adjective for uncontrollable emotions, as in the 1995 “Shook Ones”: “Son, they shook / Cause ain’t no such thing as halfway crooks.” Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne, Jay-Z, and 2Pac all used the word in their lyrics since.

Shook went viral when comedian Christine Sydelko posted a video of herself in 2017 saying “I am shooketh” after she felt embarrassed that she was too familiar at a Boston Market restaurant. Why she chose the exact word shooketh is unclear, but since the character she portrays in her YouTube series typically wears a windbreaker, sweatband, and “Don’t Mess With Texas” T-shirt, it would seem that the extra “-eth” is perhaps a stereotype of something someone from the Bible Belt might cite … from the Bible. Shooketh went on as a meme expression for intense emotions like shock or amazement.

Shook remains a staple of memes and tweets everywhere, with both the humorous shooketh and hip-hop’s use of it helping to push the term into more mainstream slang. To get an idea of it, just listen to the 2018 Bruno Mars hit single “Finesse” and hear what happens to girls when Cardi B comes up with her “Big Bronx boogie”: “Got all them girls shook.”

How to use the term shook

Shook often comes up when describing extreme emotions set off by a sexy person or violent situation.

On the internet, the slang shook is used for more hyperbolic or ironic states of fluster, such as the charm of a cute boy or cute dog.

More examples of shook:

“Christy Carlson Romano Was Shook By A Newspaper Using “Kim Possible” To Describe The Trump–Kim Summit. ”
—Stephanie McNeal, BuzzFeed (headline), June 2018

“When Drake dropped his highly anticipated Scorpion album on June 29, it’s safe to say that everyone was shook by a handful of lyrics in “Finesse,” which seemed to hint at a romance with the model.”
—Lara Walsh, Elite Daily, June 2018


This content is not meant to be a formal definition of this term. Rather, it is an informal summary that seeks to provide supplemental information and context important to know or keep in mind about the term’s history, meaning, and usage.

How to use shook in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for shook (1 of 2)

/ (ʃʊk) /

(in timber working) a set of parts ready for assembly, esp of a barrel
a group of sheaves piled together on end; shock

Word Origin for shook

C18: of unknown origin

British Dictionary definitions for shook (2 of 2)

/ (ʃʊk) /

the past tense of shake
Australian and NZ informal keen on; enthusiastic about
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012