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Changes to definition[edit]

I think the current definition could use a lot of work, but I'm having a lot of trouble articulating it. Saying someone is a badass can be taken to mean they are cool, defiant, above the law, strong, skilful. From the vandalism-strewn history, it looks like this is a very often looked up word, so our readers will be delighted when one of us furnishes a more excellent definition (should I say, a more badass definition). :-) Language Lover 04:07, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

I have never heard someone use the following sense of the word badass: (pejorative, slang) A mean or belligerent person.

Regional use?[edit]

Is the term limited to the USA? If so, there should be some kind of annotation.

Loqueelvientoajuarez 09:37, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

Check sense 2 at nigger#Noun, which I just accidentally discovered. The definition confirms that at least some people recognise badass in a pejorative sense. More interestingly even, it gives me the impression that badass might have originated in Afro-American vernacular, as it seems to refer to an Afro-American stereotype. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 20:53, 29 August 2012 (UTC)


I'm curious: is it badass as in a bad donkey or as in a bad buttocks? 03:54, 10 March 2012 (UTC)~

I'm pretty sure it refers to the buttocks, as if a person's ass were bad. Mglovesfun (talk) 16:40, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
Agreed, compare hard-ass and hard-assed with a very similar meaning, where the original reference can hardly be to the animal, either. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 11:38, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

RFV 1[edit]

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Sense: "(pejorative, slang) A mean or belligerent person." I've never heard this word used in a negative way. Has anyone heard it used pejoratively? Ultimateria (talk) 00:08, 11 March 2012 (UTC)

I have: "don't mess with that guy, he's a real badass". My impression is that the pejorative uses for such terms tend to come first, then evolve through a grudging respect phase before arriving at the "cool, in an unconventional way" stage. Chuck Entz (talk) 04:36, 11 March 2012 (UTC)
Well, the sense isn't there any more. - -sche (discuss) 21:29, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

Well, I've added it back. If the example is or has ever been idiomatic English, the sense needs to be in there (if necessary, marked as outdated). I'm not a native speaker, but the example sounds fine to me and I believe I have encountered it or similar ones. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 13:54, 26 August 2012 (UTC)

RFV 2[edit]

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Rfv-sense: "(pejorative, US, slang) A mean or belligerent person." Tagged but not listed. —RuakhTALK 16:15, 26 August 2012 (UTC)

Seriously? That's its usual meaning surely? SpinningSpark 16:30, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
I don't think I've ever heard it to mean someone who is bad in the sense of malicious, harmful (etc.) Talk:badass#RFV seems to show this was previously listed but speedy deleted, so I think adding the sense back and re-tagging it with RFV is wholly appropriate; let's give it 30 days. Mglovesfun (talk) 16:42, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
SpinningSpark 17:50, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
moved from another section:

Re-added by Florian: see Talk:badass. I agree the sense is probably legit, but if it's failed RFV and been restored then it needs to go through the process and get citations. Equinox 21:02, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

Okay, just noticed apparently the RFV is still open, in which case I don't know why it was moved to the talk page. Who knows what is going on. Someone who does know can delete or merge this with the discussion above. Thanks. Equinox 21:04, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
What happened: an RFV was opened; Jtle removed the sense out-of-process; when I noticed the sense had been gone for two months with no objection, I closed the RFV as "resolved". Florian re-added the sense, and we're actually trying to verify it this time. - -sche (discuss) 21:48, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

I'm not convinced there are two senses here. I think it's just that the kind of people described in sense 1, "badasses", are often admired; sense 1 is currently poorly worded, IMO, but that they are admired (sense 2) doesn't strike me as a separate sense. - -sche (discuss) 02:08, 28 November 2012 (UTC)

I've combined the senses. - -sche (discuss) 22:39, 17 December 2012 (UTC)

RFV discussion: October 2017[edit]

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If you look at the talk page and edit history, you see that sense 1 (use with a negative connotation) was RFVed, removed, re-added without citations, RFVed again, removed, and readded again without citations. So:

  1. Are there citations of sense 1?
  2. Does it make sense to have two separate senses, or does this word basically have one sense/ definition, "a person with extreme attitudes or behavior or appearance", and speakers just differ in whether they consider such a person to be good or bad?

(Btw, I think there are two other ways to form the graded forms of the adjective: "baddest-ass" and "badassest".) - -sche (discuss) 04:13, 2 October 2017 (UTC)

Is "worst-ass" attested? Khemehekis (talk) 20:54, 21 October 2017 (UTC)

cited Kiwima (talk) 04:17, 19 October 2017 (UTC)

RFV-passed Kiwima (talk) 04:09, 29 October 2017 (UTC)