Bill Shorten gave #AusPol quite the shock over the weekend. The former opposition leader introduced mainstream media to the term “Simp” on ABC’s Insiders in reference to Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
Shorten was answering a question regarding the possible release of a an Afghan man who was convicted of killing three Australian soldiers in 2012. According to The Guardian, Morrison has been pressing the U.S. for the man’s continued detention.
Shorten had a strong and rather Gen Z take on the issue.
“If I can put it in really plain English, Mr Morrison needs to make sure he doesn’t look like he’s just a simp to Donald Trump,” Shorten said.
Insiders host David Speers asked Shorten what the phrase meant. Shorten’s response was simply “ahh, soft.”
Gizmodo Australia has reached out to Scott Morrison’s office for comment.
Former Australian opposition leader Bill Shorten calling Prime Minister Scott Morrison a simp lmao pic.twitter.com/1aHj7TyZKd
— cameronwilson (@cameronwilson) August 16, 2020
What is a simp?
While Shorten got the context relatively correct, his definition isn’t exactly right. Or in the very least he perhaps wouldn’t have used it if he was aware of its more sexist meaning in its colloquial usage across the internet While in the early 20th century it was used to call somebody a “simpleton” it’s evolved, to say the least.
According to Know Your Meme, one of the earliest records of its new meaning comes from the 1999 song, Sippin’ on Some Syrup by Three 6 Mafia. In this case it was used as an antonym for pimp in the line, “I’m trill working the wheel, a pimp, not a simp.”
In 2005 the first modern-day definitions for the phrase began popping up on Urban Dictionary. But the term didn’t begin exponentially spreading until 2019 across the likes of Reddit, 4chan, Twitch and TikTok. You might be familiar with fun phrases like “Simp Nation” and “CEO of Simping”.
In essence, it’s used to describe a man who goes out of his way to impress a woman, generally in the hopes of sexual gratification.
“Simp is a slang insult for men who are seen as too attentive and submissive to women, especially out of a failed hope of winning some entitled sexual attention or activity from them,” the Dictionary.com definition reads.
Urban Dictionary has a few more varied and colourful definitions. The top hit encompasses what the term has evolved into over the last year or so — “Someone who does way too much for a person they like.”
But other definitions on the site are more telling of its 20th century origins, including the acronym “Suckas Idolising Mediocre Pussy.”
“Someone who will say anything to please someone, particularly a girl, in the hopes that they will be in good favor with that person.”
“A man who puts the hoes before the bros.”
Gizmodo Australia has reached out to Bill Shorten for clarification of his understanding and use of the phrase.