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Probably from dur, British informal exclamation for “stupid” or from duh, an exclamation indicating faltering speech and assumed stupidity, glottalized for emphasis. Popularized by BASEketball (1998) and "Succubus", a 1999 episode of South Park.[1][2] See also twerp possibly related to Welsh twp meaning fool.




  1. (slang) Draws attention to an act of foolishness or stupidity.
    I put chips in my soup instead of crackers. Derp.
    • 1997 February 25, Treichler, Pete, “Re: Patrick Incompentence Redux”, in, Usenet[3], message-ID <>#1/1>:
      Now that I think of it, i'm surprised that you didn't make fun of his first name as well- 'How could you believe in a guy who has a girly first name?' derp- you are a fool.
  2. (slang) A placeholder for unimportant details, blah blah blah.
    • 2002 November 27, Trey Parker, “The Biggest Douche in the Universe”, in South Park[4], season 6, episode 15, 14:28:
      Rob Schneider derp dee derp. Derp dee derpity derpy derp. Until one day, a derp a derp a derp a derp.
    • 2011 January 10, Allen, Tom, “Re: Expression of a woman's sexuality”, in soc.sexuality.general, Usenet[5], message-ID <>:
      Me: Hi, remember me from SSG? Can I ask you about herping the derp?
      R1: Oh, hai Tom. Sure, that would be the derp that was herping blah blah blah...

Usage notes[edit]

In the placeholder sense, often used with herp. Can be used like a noun or a verb or with various suffixes. Connotes that whatever it stands in for does not matter, and often that it is foolish or nonsensical.


derp (third-person singular simple present derps, present participle derping, simple past and past participle derped)

  1. (slang) To act stupidly or foolishly
  2. (slang) To make a stupid mistake
    • 2011 August 22, Scion-of-Fenrir, “Re: 4e Forgotten Realms Campaign”, in Google Groups: /tg/'s Google group[6],
      Wait, so we're allowed to have magic items from the start? I must of derped pretty hard.
  3. (slang, of eyes) To point in different directions; (of a person) To have a facial expression with one's eyes pointing in different directions.
    • 2012 April 22, Double Eight, “Re: Next Meetup”, in Google Groups: Windy City Bronies[7]:
      Also, there was a Derpy cameo in this one, but she didn't have derped eyes.
    • 2012 October 25, Benchoff, Brian, “Electronic demon costume is surprisingly unnerving”, in Hack A Day[8]:
      The eyes are wired to the same I2C address to prevent derping, but the three red mouth LED matrices are capable of displaying anything that fits on an 8×24 LED matrix.

Derived terms[edit]


derp (plural derps)

  1. (slang) A person who acts stupidly or foolishly; a person who derps.
  2. (slang) A stupid mistake, stupidity.
  3. (uncountable) The constant repeating of an opinion after facts have proved it incorrect, especially as a rhetorical tactic.
    • [2013 June 4, Noah Smith, “What is "derp"? The answer is technical.”, in Noahpinion[9] (blog), Blogger, archived from the original on 2013-06-09, retrieved 2022-01-12:
      English has no word for "the constant, repetitive reiteration of strong priors". Yet it is a well-known phenomenon in the world of punditry, debate, and public affairs. On Twitter, we call it "derp".]


  1. ^ Becket, Stefan (June 4, 2013), “The Origins of Derp”, in New York magazine[1], retrieved May 3, 2018
  2. ^ Siese, April (October 28, 2015), “These 'BASEketball' Quotes Are Psych-Out Gold”, in Uproxx[2], retrieved May 3, 2018

Further reading[edit]


Old High German[edit]




  1. Alternative form of derb