Where does ignant come from?
Evidence for ignant dates back to at least the 1940s based on a pronunciation of ignorant in Black English. It characterizes someone as ignorant in an extended sense of being “stupid” and therefore “foolish” or “contemptible” in some way.
Ignant spread into the mainstream especially through popular black comedy and hip-hop. In his legendary 1996 stand-up Bring the Pain, comedian Chris Rock joked about how “ignant-ass niggas fuck it up” for regular black people.
One early use comes in Luniz’s 1997 song “Highest Niggas In The Industry”: “Ignant muthafucka wanna step to me, I wouldn’t hesitate to blast, biatch.” In 2009, Drake along with rapper Lil Wayne freestyle-rapped on a song called “Ignant Shit.”
In the early 2000s, ignant also took on more positive slang connotations: partying so hard one makes themselves stupid, as it were. This was popularized by the Black Eye Peas’ 2003 party anthem “Let’s Get It Started” where member apl.de.ap gleefully rallies: “Let’s get ignant, let’s get hectic!” That is, let’s get wasted. This use of ignant has pushed the term towards meaning “wild and crazy” more generally.
Examples of ignant
Who uses ignant?
Calling someone ignant is usually reserved for pointing out behavior that is considered grossly misguided, indecent, or idiotic, that they’ve done something that could only stem from a lack of awareness or knowledge.
These people have to quit giving these kids rings for winning every U-trip tournament. #ignant
— Lane Chapman (@10_chappie) March 19, 2018
— Darius Vann (@Darius330) October 15, 2018
Ignant is most commonly associated with black slang. Note that saying ignant in Black English isn’t itself ignorant, as it is consistent with features of Black English’s grammar. Plus, we shorten and smush together words all the time, if we’re gonna go there. Now, using ignant to imitate Black English may be considered ignant if it’s appropriative or mocking.
This is not meant to be a formal definition of ignant like most terms we define on Dictionary.com, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of ignant that will help our users expand their word mastery.