Origin of shook1
Words nearby shook
Other definitions for shook (2 of 2)
Origin of shook2
ABOUT THIS WORD
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.
I got a scholarship for USC omfg. I. AM. SHOOK.
— Jenn (@_jennrod91) July 2, 2018
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
Some doulas offer their services for free, Shook says, while some operate on a sliding scale based on the client’s ability to pay.Death Doulas Used to Be Rare. The COVID-19 Pandemic Changed That|Melissa Chan|January 26, 2022|Time
“We all shook hands and my client told me to leave,” he said.France Kills Charlie Hebdo Murderers|Nico Hines|January 9, 2015|DAILY BEAST
“They basically said thanks a lot and shook our hands and took off,” Stammberger said.FBI Won’t Stop Blaming North Korea for Sony Hack -- Despite New Evidence|Shane Harris|December 30, 2014|DAILY BEAST
After what seemed a desperate eternity, a doctor shook his head.'Please Don't Die!': The Frantic Battle to Save Murdered Cops|Michael Daly|December 22, 2014|DAILY BEAST
And during a one-week period the next month four different female suicide bombings shook various regions of Nigeria.The New Face of Boko Haram’s Terror: Teen Girls|Nina Strochlic|December 13, 2014|DAILY BEAST
In 2010 Cuba provided the largest contingent of medical staff during the aftermath of the huge earthquake that shook Haiti.The Dark Side of Cuba’s Ebola Economy|James Bloodworth|December 9, 2014|DAILY BEAST
We all rose to our feet, and he shook hands with everybody without waiting to be introduced.Music-Study in Germany|Amy Fay
During this defence, the Empress frequently shook her head; and when it was finished, she rose from her chair.The Pastor's Fire-side Vol. 3 of 4|Jane Porter
The needle of the archdruidress broke, as she shook her head viciously at the scoffer.The Pit Town Coronet, Volume I (of 3)|Charles James Wills
But Grandfather Mole only shook his head impatiently, as if to say that digging a hole wouldn't help him this time.The Tale of Grandfather Mole|Arthur Scott Bailey
Tressan smote the table before him a blow that shook some of the dust out of the papers that cumbered it.St. Martin's Summer|Rafael Sabatini