Learn English – Usage of “burn” as a form of mockery – How did it start


I have come across numerous posts/memes on social media where, considering A,B and C are different people:

  1. A posts something seemingly innocuous.

  2. B comments on A's post, something either very funny or offensive to A

  3. C comments "BURN!!" with some ROFL emoticons

Not the best question, but I am just curious why people say "BURN", when they need to mock/insult other people? (according to UrbanDictionary).

How did this usage come into existence?

Is this used only in social media? Or is it used in real world conversations as well?

Best Answer

According to the UD burn (as a form of mockery) is an slang expression made popular by the "That 70's show," which ran from 1998 to 2006:

  • (slang): to disrespect someone (to diss); to make fun of someone; used by a third party after a first party makes fun of a second party. Brought back to life by the ever-popular That 70's show.