Examples of the clap
Where does the clap come from?
The clap is a very old slang term for a sexually transmitted disease (STD). It is said to come from the 13th-century French clapoire, or clapier in Modern French, meaning “rabbit hutch.” And rabbits, well, screw like rabbits.
Clapoire was extended as a term for “brothel,” where one might contract an STD, lending clapoire as a term for such an illness or the sores that come with it.
Clapoire is found in English as clap by the 1560s. Some people say it came from an (un-evidenced) medieval practice of clapping one’s genitalia with the hands or another object to reduce the pain of swelling and somehow cure the disease. Uh, OK. The clap then became commonly associated with US soldiers contracting STDs overseas during World Wars I and II.
By the early 17th century, clap could also used as a verb for giving someone a venereal disease (e.g. He clapped his late wife). This sense of the word largely dropped out by the 20th century.
Who uses the clap?
The clap is typically used with the definite article, the. It usually references gonorrhea, the second most common STD in the US, behind chlamydia.
The clap generally describes sexual promiscuity and can have a humorous, old-time-y-sounding force. As the clap is a slang term, it’s unlikely your doctor will tell you “you’ve got the clap”—they’ll more likely call it gonorrhea, give you antibiotics, and tell you to practice safe sex.
boy said he ain’t have a reason to get tested cause he “fuck boujee bitches” gc took a poll that he gon have the clap by December 😂😂😩😩
— hannah💫 (@HalkiasHannah) August 13, 2018
But, when you call your ex to let them know you’ve tested positive for an STD, you may want to call it the clap to soften the blow.
Victoria’s Secret is that she has the clap
— harrison grant webster (@hgwebst) August 13, 2018
This is not meant to be a formal definition of the clap 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 the clap that will help our users expand their word mastery.