Online buzzword | The origin of ‘shout-out’

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a shout-out as “a brief expression of greeting or praise given especially on a broadcast or audio recording.” That said, this practice has been around for a long time.

In the Philippines, the most popular form of shout-out used to be done over the radio. Before the world went hardcore digital, we were thrilled when radio DJs mentioned our names on air. Everyone who knew a DJ would regularly ask for a shout-out for the sheer joy of it.

Image by Miguel Á. Padriñán (via Pexels)

In general, the shout-out was not done for the purpose of securing securing goods or services. It was considered some sort of extension for saying hello to people. It was an act of goodwill.

Interestingly enough, many accounts posted on various online forums assert that the slang term “shout-out” was coined in the hip-hop industry.

A Yahoo! Answers user explained: “[The phrase became popular] in the early ’80s (’83 to be exact) when DJ Ralph McDaniels had a show on WLIW in New York City called Video Music Box. It was the original hip-hop music video program & he would use the term for [when] people [would] say hello (on air) to their friends & family. He called it a ‘shout-out.'”

However, the advent of social media seems to have changed how shout-outs are perceived. It seems as if shot-outs have been converted to commodities — so much so that some people have resorted to using it as a form of informal currency to get goods or services. Such was the case of a young celebrity who asked for a logo design and, in return, he would give a shout-out to whoever made the logo.

Our take on the matter: Perhaps, shout-outs should be given without any strings attached. In any case, with all the free templates and apps available, it is easy for one to come up with a logo for his or her personal use. The logo will probably not look that good, but then that’s what you get when you don’t have the means to pay a professional to do it.

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