Is squeeing becoming mainstream?
October 25, 2010 1:52 PM   Subscribe

Is the use of the word "squee" still gender and age linked?

Is squeeing strictly a fangirl thing? Rumor has it that grown men are now succumbing to its use. Is it a word that is headed for the mainstream?

I know that this must be as burning an issue for many members of this community as it is for me.
posted by MisterMo to Society & Culture (46 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Still young and girlish to me. But that just makes it fun to say it deadpan. Possibly "fucking squee" for emphasis.
posted by Lorc at 1:56 PM on October 25, 2010 [1 favorite]

I hope not. I think you need a babydoll "geekgrrl" t-shirt and a lobotomy to squee.
posted by meepmeow at 1:56 PM on October 25, 2010 [5 favorites]

Is this linked to this? I think he might be speaking a little ironically.
posted by echo target at 1:57 PM on October 25, 2010

I think it's on the edge but transitioning. I've been spotting it used ironically on (fundamentally non-serious) places like Twitter. It definitely connotes pink ribbons and killing cartoon monsters with magic globes of love, to me.
posted by SMPA at 2:02 PM on October 25, 2010


1) I don't know any dudes who use the word squee.
2) Of the women I know who use it, all are smart, and maybe like one or two are particularly fangirlish about anything. Ages range from late twenties to late thirties.
posted by 23skidoo at 2:02 PM on October 25, 2010

I think the very word squee suggests you are being ironic -- the only times I've seen it used, it is being used by someone to imply "I don't squee, but. ... squeee!."

Therefore it is a fortiori appropriate for a guy to use.
posted by musofire at 2:09 PM on October 25, 2010 [1 favorite]

I'm a dude. I sometimes write "squee" non-ironically, but I don't think I ever say it.
posted by Netzapper at 2:17 PM on October 25, 2010

I have used it in a tweet. Unironically. Of course, I also pepper my speech with the words "like" and "awesome".

Because I am so confident in my masculinity that I can do that.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 2:21 PM on October 25, 2010 [7 favorites]

If I read that without any sort of context and had to guess the age and gender of the author, I would say Female, 14 to 25.
posted by codacorolla at 2:21 PM on October 25, 2010

I associate it with mid-20s and older tech-savvy females reading kawaii tumblrs, ICHC, and puppy-of-the-day RSS feeds. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Anyone else who uses it is, in my eyes, making fun of, or at least emulating, this archetype.
posted by supercres at 2:22 PM on October 25, 2010 [1 favorite]

I always imagine the word "squee" as being said by Higgins from Magnum P.I.

But I don't think it's generally age or gender linked. It seems to be used to describe a particular sort of excited utterance that is more specific to the situation than to the gender or age of the utterer.
posted by The World Famous at 2:22 PM on October 25, 2010

i know lots of dudes who "squee" - most of my friends are nerds/somewhere on the LGBTQQ scale - not the macho-est of men, but scrotum toters all the same.

i squee. i guess i'm a fan girl for some stuff. i'm 29.

really, i figured it was across the gender line by the time that jhonen vasquez named a boy character squee.
posted by nadawi at 2:24 PM on October 25, 2010

Uh... Skwee?
posted by azarbayejani at 2:25 PM on October 25, 2010 [1 favorite]

I think Scott Kurtz, who draws the web comic PvP, has used squee in his blog posts. He writes a character called Skull the Troll (scroll down), who is also known to squee. Skull is male and hundreds of years old, but of course he's also fictional.
posted by jedicus at 2:29 PM on October 25, 2010

Heh, I feel obligated to post in this thread....

I've heard a few guys use it before but always in a facetious manner. I'm fond of the word because it's silly and cartoon-y. I don't consider myself a "fangirl" of anything though, and I am 28.

I can't say I've heard many people outside of the internet nerd spectrum use the word. A word I'd consider to be similar* - w00t - is certainly more mainstream now though, so maybe squee is headed that way.

*And "meep" for that matter, meepmeow.... ;)
posted by Squee at 2:37 PM on October 25, 2010

I didn't even know there was some sort of age/gender squee rule/linkage. I squee, several of my friends (both male and female) have squee'ed, and what's more I've never really thought about the appropriateness based on demographic. I should note that most of the squeeing is over the internet, there's not a lot of squeeing in person--or at least I don't think of it as squeeing when it happens in person, I just think of it as general excitement.
posted by Kimberly at 2:42 PM on October 25, 2010

Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey (age 41) has been using the term "squee" for years. Most often in the context of "When I realized it was X standing in front of me I went into an embarrassing state of fanboy squee", but sometimes just "Squee!" as an expression of enthusiasm.
posted by Lexica at 2:48 PM on October 25, 2010

I know gentlemen who "squee", but I know no *straight* gentlemen who "squee."

I don't know any girls who squee anywhere but das interneten, however.
posted by Gucky at 2:50 PM on October 25, 2010

If it is in reference to a side character in a Johnny the Homicidal Maniac comic, I only knew guys who knew who the hell Squee was for a good chunk of the late 90s. And anyone who uses it now? I assume they're just trying to rebel and show some edge - except referencing a comic character that girls are now reading really doesn't seem edgy enough for pubescent male culture. Plus Squee was sort of the cute and innocent one in it so that is sort of like watching Dexter for the baby - sure you might claim it, but your kidding yourself if you aren't watching it for Dexter...

So um, I don't talk about Squee, because ultimately after 10-15 years to reflect on JTHM comics, they're sort of lame and predictably counter-culture. Its a phase, but uh, been there done that...

No worries, they'll grow up, cease to reference Squee, and then a few of them will revisit Squee as nostalgia later in life.
posted by Nanukthedog at 3:27 PM on October 25, 2010

I have never, ever heard a man "squee!" But I have heard plenty of women say it--though mostly younger women who didn't mind seeming a bit silly.

For what it's worth, I don't know how widespread JTHM was even among geeks; I knew more goth girls who were into it than anyone else (certainly, when I went to a party as Johnny in 2000 or so, no one knew who I was. And this was in a group of people who were, like, into NiN and D&D).
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 3:34 PM on October 25, 2010

I'm 46 and I say "squee!" sometimes. Kind of ironically. Remember that I am as played by Thora Birch, but with a gray streak in her hair.
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:48 PM on October 25, 2010 [1 favorite]

Wow, this is all over the map. Thanks for the sample, everybody!

My personal anecdotal data: I know quite a few ladies who squee in person, enthusiastically and with or without irony. The guys are fewer and farther between; they may be willing to squee ironically on the netz, but not in person. This is why I hypothesize that useage is gender specific.

@echo target: pure serendipity.

@Sidhedevil: that is the best nick I've seen in years...
posted by MisterMo at 4:12 PM on October 25, 2010

40, masculine gay female. I use it non-ironically when I am ridiculously excited about something. This happens maybe once a month. I also use Woot! though, so what the hell do I know?
posted by FlamingBore at 4:15 PM on October 25, 2010

I'm with Netzapper. I'm a 28-year-old dude and I'll write "squee," but I'd never say it.

I don't think it's specifically a gendered thing for me: saying "squee" out loud just feels a little like saying "ell oh ell" or "I less-than-three you" or something. Which, I mean, okay, there are people who do those things too, but not me.
posted by nebulawindphone at 4:16 PM on October 25, 2010

Well, I'm a straight male who says it all the time. But that's because my cat is named Squee. So I don't think that counts.

[and yeah, he's 13 years old and was named after the Vasquez character]
posted by wildcrdj at 5:03 PM on October 25, 2010

Besides PvP, I've also picked it up from CuteOverload, which I imagine has a big range of readers.

Cute Overload has a glossary?! Squee!

posted by SarahbytheSea at 5:33 PM on October 25, 2010

I am 27, female, and have never heard of "squee" or "squeeing" before now.
posted by aniola at 5:47 PM on October 25, 2010 [1 favorite]

I'm 27, female, from California, and I've never heard of the terms "squee" or "squeeing" before now.
posted by aniola at 5:48 PM on October 25, 2010

I associate this word with some of the dweebier fandoms (e.g. Harry Potter), circa 2003. I have never heard it outside of that context and am shocked to learn that it does occur. And if it isn't used exclusively by little girls, well, it should be.
posted by two or three cars parked under the stars at 6:30 PM on October 25, 2010

I thought it was only associated with Neil Gaiman, but that might be a venn-diagram due to fanboy/girlishness...
posted by stratastar at 6:50 PM on October 25, 2010

Grown man here, I do not say "squee" but I do say "twee".
posted by mlis at 6:55 PM on October 25, 2010

You're going to have to take my squee! from my cold, dead hands.

Anyway, among my (heavily into the internet) friends it's pretty damn mainstream. Guys will tend to say, "I squee'd" where girls actually do squee.

Also, squee is really fun to type. SQUEE!
posted by Space Kitty at 6:55 PM on October 25, 2010 [1 favorite]

Bloke. Over 40. Beardy. Nominally sensible engineer. Straight. Actually been known to wear button-down shirt. Frequent user of the word 'squee', non-ironically in writing and speaking.

You don't have a problem with that. Even when I'm squeeing about spiders.
posted by scruss at 7:04 PM on October 25, 2010

I associate it - and meep - with cons, and fandom, and SCA, and the sort of geeks who are into that sort of stuff (as opposed to geeks in general.) I don't think it's limited to girls, but then most of the guys in that sort of scene aren't particularly hyper-masculine. It's the sort of thing that I'd expect to see in text (over the internet) and not actually hear anyone say out loud. I guess I'd expect it most from people between their late teens and mid 30s?

I've never thought of it as being associated with the JTHM character.
posted by ubersturm at 7:07 PM on October 25, 2010

Interesting, I was wondering just what it means from this quote, "And I stuck to friends and friends of friends who I knew would not harsh my squee" as I just got a kick out of "harsh my squee".

Hmm, to answer the actual question, if someone as boring white-bread as me is even cursorily aware of the term prior to this post, it must be entering the vernacular. The spell checker does highlight it tho'.
posted by sammyo at 8:04 PM on October 25, 2010

As far as I've seen, "squee" is not only a juvenile and feminine thing, but affectedly juvenile and feminine—a self-conscious bat of the eyelashes, as if to say "look how cute I am!". It's the same thing as candy ravers wearing fairy wings and My Little Pony shirts, in other words.

I associate it pretty squarely with a certain faction of young people (roughly, fannish net-savvy geeks). I've seen no sign at all that it's becoming mainstream.
posted by ixohoxi at 8:25 PM on October 25, 2010

I always assumed it started as a JHTM ref and went mainstream.
posted by Protocols of the Elders of Sockpuppetry at 8:32 PM on October 25, 2010

Nope! Squee!
posted by schmod at 9:10 PM on October 25, 2010

Straight make, 38 and I will type or say the word "squee" as well many other men I know who are also otherwise straight and masculine.

However I have never, as an adult, made the sound that "squee" onomatopoeticly refers to, nor have most of my friends.

I have some rather flamboyant gay friends who both use the word and make the sound.

Also, geek ringleader, writer and former Start Trek cast member Wil Wheaton sqee's quite prolifically on his Twitter feed.
posted by Ookseer at 9:11 PM on October 25, 2010 [1 favorite]

It's actually dated now; I think it emerged when I was still in my early twenties at the turn of the century (heh) and has been carried through the web by aging fangirls who are rapidly approaching or have fallen headlong into their 30s & 40s. Most young fangirl websites I visit (under 25) don't ever use it; they love Tumblr and those n1curr memes, not LOLcats and squeeing.

It's kind of interesting, from an anthropological perspective. A "generation" in the real world is at least a decade, sometimes more. On the web, I feel a vast gulf between myself and young ladies who are still in college, even though I'm not yet 30. The cultural markers, phrases, and ideas of those coming of age on the web are vastly different than what the aging hipsters think of as "cool & in", and the youth subculture has such rapid cycles, in two years everything those college kids know will be passe.
posted by lychee at 10:33 PM on October 25, 2010

My ex-boyfriend says squee. Mostly about cat videos. The "squee" part has nothing to do with the "ex" part. He's almost thirty and probably reading this thread.
posted by whatzit at 2:44 AM on October 26, 2010

I see it all the time when women in their 20s and 30s meet one of their friends in a public place. KELLYYYYYYYY! SQUEEEEEEEE!!
posted by elmwood at 4:52 PM on October 26, 2010

I'm way out of my 20s and I squee, but it's usually delivered in a Daria-like tone. Oh dear God, have I been squeeing inappropriately all this time?
posted by medea42 at 5:32 PM on October 26, 2010

Forget all these anecdotes, here's a statistic answer: It's highly gender bound
posted by shii at 12:28 AM on October 28, 2010

That's awesome, shii. (What's up with Wyoming, though?)
posted by nebulawindphone at 6:47 AM on October 28, 2010

Male. Mid-30s. I squee occasionally, but only with my wife.
I squee-ed in text when I took the $5 plunge and joined metafilter. I'm pretty sure that's the only time, though.
posted by battleshipkropotkin at 1:45 PM on December 1, 2010

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