IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Does your kid say ‘bussin’? We’ll explain.

Is it good or bad?
The first uses of the term were reportedly in reference to food.
The first uses of the term were reportedly in reference to food.TODAY Illustration
/ Source: TODAY

So your kid says "bussin" — is that good or bad?

It's good! Very good, actually. The slang word "bussin" means amazing, fantastic, lovely and cool. In other words, "extremely good," according to Merriam-Webster.

Examples: "My food is bussin," "You look bussin" and "Let's go there, it's bussin."

Rappers Nicki Minaj and Lil Baby teamed up to release a song titled "Bussin" as did Hd4president.

Why is everything 'bussin'?

According to Kelly Elizabeth Wright, a postdoctoral research fellow in language sciences at Virginia Tech, the word became popular in March 2021.

Wright wrote about the term's rise in “Among the New Words,” a quarterly dictionary published in the academic journal “American Speech.” She theorizes that it started becoming popular after a TikTok user responded to a video about bell pepper sandwiches by food blogger Janelle Rohner, stating, “Wow. That looks really good, Janelle. Is it bussin?”

Wright says "bussin" was consequently used in non-food situations and sometimes conflated with “bust it” and “buss it,” which have sexual connotations.

"If you know anything about TikTok, you know that part of how trends work on the app is that once a video becomes popular, new users make their own versions of the video, riffing off of it," Wright wrote in the dictionary. "The first waves of riffs, by users of all races, were reportedly in reference to food, but very soon the use of bussin (or more specifically 'Is it bussin(g), Janelle?') began to rapidly spread to other semantic domains. And many Black folks started to get heated as the adjective became popular on TikTok in 2021 because they observed bussin being applied to things like outfits and dances."

Wright tells TODAY.com that "bussin" is part of African-American Vernacular English (AAVE).

"African American English is, and has been for some time, the largest generator of new words in U.S. English," says Wright. "Many people encounter these words for the first time outside the Black community and perceive them to be so-called slang, making the origin of terms like 'bussin' controversial, especially as terms begin to expand their usage to ever-widening audiences and become applied to ever-widening contexts (for example 'bussin' being applied to more than just food)."

While kids love anything that’s “bussin,” 21% of parents don't care for the word, according to a February survey from the language learning platform Preply.

"'Bussin' was the 7th most commonly used slang term with 43% of surveyed parents reporting that they’ve heard their child use that specific slang term," a Preply spokesperson tells TODAY.com.

Parents just don't understand.

"Our survey found that over half of parents surveyed (51%) said they did not know the meaning of 'bussin,' adds the spokesperson, "so our suspicion is that parents’ hate of the word may result in a lack of understanding of the slang that their child uses."