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sea +‎ punk; compare earlier cyberpunk, steampunk. Coined by Brooklyn-based DJ Lil Internet, who tweeted about a surreal dream he had in June 2011 ("Seapunk leather jacket with barnacles where the studs used to be"), and later popularized as a Twitter hashtag.[1]


seapunk (countable and uncountable, plural seapunks)

  1. (neologism, uncountable) A fashion and visual art style, characterized by aquatic themes and colours, rave culture, and the digital aesthetic of the 1990s.
    • 2012, Marke B., "Mermaids vs. unicorns", San Francisco Bay Guardian, 10 January 2012:
      Seapunk's aqueous adherents, mostly in the Midwest but spreading fast [] have been characterized as goth mermaids, which certainly captures the look and feel: think turquoise-dyed hair and an embrace of all things oceanic, yay for steampunk jellyfish outfits.
    • 2012, Lucy Stehlik, "Seapunk: scenester in-joke or underground art movement?", The Guardian, 14 December 2012:
      Many thought this understandably short-lived meme had died a watery death in 2011, but when Rihanna took to Saturday Night Live to perform Diamonds recently, with a full-on seapunk-influenced production, it got a new lease of life.
    • 2013, Cameron Welch, "That's That Shit I Don't Like: The Year in Wackness", The Phoenix (UBCO), 7 January 2013, page 11 (online version):
      She also lashed out at Azealia Banks, who dropped an explicitly seapunk video the same week, but Azealia's fine in my books. She’s always been into seapunk stuff, she “came from the internet” unlike Rihanna, she actually commits to and genuinely engages with the seapunk visuals (e.g riding dolphins) and they at least somewhat fit her song and attitude.
    • For more examples of usage of this term, see Citations:seapunk.
  2. (neologism, countable) A follower of the seapunk style.


  1. ^ Ben Detrick, "Little Mermaid Goes Punk", The New York Times, 2 March 2012

Further reading[edit]