What does “sus” mean?


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Why is everyone saying “sus” lately, and what does it mean? Here’s a look at the rise of this unique piece of internet language.

“Sus” and its origin

If you’ve been on the Internet or spent time with a teen lately, you may have heard them call something “sus,” which is short for “suspicious” or “suspicious.” Something or someone is “sus” if they seem dishonest or untrustworthy.

While the widespread use of “sus” is a relatively recent phenomenon, the term itself, used to describe dodgy things, predates the internet long before the internet. For decades, people have used the idiomatic expression “squeeze” to describe getting the truth from someone. You’ve probably heard it from popular crime shows on television.

In fact, the first definition of “sus” in the online slang repository urban dictionary goes all the way back to 2003. This means that people have been using this term online for a while now. So why has it become such a culturally important word on the Internet? It is because of a viral video game called Among Us.

The meteoric rise of Sus

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Among Us is a cooperative multiplayer title that became one of the most successful video games of 2020. Similar to classic party games like Werewolf and Mafia, several starship crew members must work together to identify imposters and try to vote these traitors in. from. Those who played together often did it via video chat to maximize the experience.

One of the biggest catalysts for the game’s success has been many prominent internet personalities, public figures and celebrities streaming the game on platforms such as YouTube and Twitch. It was in these streams that “sus” went viral. Players often referred to others as “sus” when they were likely to be impostors, often judging based on facial expressions or inconsistencies with their story.

Playing among us like a cheater

Sus became the central catchphrase of Among Us, and as interest in the game grew, so did the use of the word. There was also a meme around sus, where players accused each other without evidence. Soon, the term made its way into the video-sharing app TikTok, where Among Us content started to catch on as well. It has since become one of the most popular slang terms on the internet.

Sus as Snake

Even outside Among Us, ‘sus’ has taken on a life of its own. People regularly refer to things as “sus”, even if they have nothing to do with Among Us or video games. It has become part of the average internet user’s vocabulary, appearing everywhere from tweets to YouTube videos.

If you want to describe something as ‘sus’, you could say ‘that’s sus’ or ‘you are sus’. Many people say “sus” in real life to describe something suspicious, such as a strange-looking piece of meat in the fridge or a spam email promising millions of dollars in gold.

Sus People and Sus Things

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What is considered “sus” can be roughly split into two things: sus people and sus things.

A person is considered sus if you feel that he is lying or omitting some of the truth. For example, if they seem restless and nervous while talking to you, you might say, “You’re acting a little suspense.” This also applies if someone can be motivated by hidden intentions. For example, if someone asks, “Hey, can I borrow your shovel?” and you’re not sure why they want it, you could say, “That’s sus.”

On the other hand, there are also sus things. This could be a literal object, such as a fake product you bought, or something more abstract, such as an offer that seems too good to be true. For example, if the ‘iPhone’ you bought online appears to have a 5 year old version of Android, it could be described as ‘sus’.

How to use Sus

To use “sus,” replace it whenever you would say “suspicious” or “suspicious.” Unlike Internet acronyms which are meaningless if you’re not surfing the web, “sus” is so general that even someone with minimal Internet knowledge can understand it.

If you’d like to learn more about internet slang terms, check out our pieces on NP, DW, and IRL. You will become an online natural in no time.

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