What Is 'Derp'? Is It the Same as 'Durp'?

Derp = stupid person
Derp = stupid person. Image Source / Getty

Question: What Is 'Derp'? Is It the Same as 'Durp'?

You've likely seen 'derp' or 'durp' on Facebook pages, Reddit links, and meme photos. You will also see this expression paired with a photo of a stupefied animal or a person making a stunned facial expression. This modern derogatory expression is a version of 'stupid', and is a close cousin to the derogatory 'ermagherd' expression.

Answer: 'Derp' is the same as 'durp'. It means 'stupid action' or 'stupid person'.

The expression is thought to come from the late 1990's, where Southpark creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone made a film called 'Basketball', and during a particularly crass scene, the character yells 'derp'!

Click here for the original 'derp' moment

How to use the expression: derp is best used in one of three ways:

1) to insult a person as being a moron,

2) to accuse someone of 'failing to see the obvious', or

3) to exclaim that 'I've just done a stupid thing myself.' 

Derp and durp are close cousins to the 'ermahgerd' expression, which another derogatory term to describe stupidity.

RELATED: more modern internet memes are listed here.

How to Capitalize and Punctuate Web and Texting Abbreviations: 

Capitalization is a non-concern when using text message abbreviations and chat jargon. You are welcome use all uppercase (e.g. ROFL) or all lowercase (e.g. rofl), and the meaning is identical. Avoid typing entire sentences in uppercase, though, as that means shouting in online speak.

Proper punctuation is similarly a non-concern with most text message abbreviations. For example, the abbreviation for 'Too Long, Didn't Read' can be abbreviated as TL;DR or as TLDR.

Both are acceptable format, with or without punctuation.

Never use periods (dots) between your jargon letters. It would defeat the purpose of speeding up thumb typing. For example, ROFL would never be spelled R.O.F.L., and TTYL would never be spelled T.T.Y.L. 

Recommended Etiquette for Using Web and Texting Jargon 

Knowing when to use jargon in your messaging is about knowing who your audience is, knowing if the context is informal or professional, and then using good judgment. If you know the people well, and it is a personal and informal communication, then absolutely use abbreviation jargon.

On the flip side, if you are just starting a friendship or professional relationship with the other person, then it is a good idea to avoid abbreviations until you have developed a relationship rapport.

If the messaging is in a professional context with someone at work, or with a customer or vendor outside your company, then avoid abbreviations altogether. Using full word spellings shows professionalism and courtesy. It is much easier to err on the side of being too professional and then relax your communications over time than doing the inverse.