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Slang Dictionary: Rickrolling

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What Does "Rickrolling" Mean

What Does “Rickrolling” Mean?

The slang term “Rickrolling” refers to a humorous online prank or bait-and-switch meme that involves misleading someone into clicking on a hyperlink to the music video for Rick Astley’s 1987 hit song “Never Gonna Give You Up.” Instead of the expected content, the viewer is “Rickrolled” and presented with the music video. It’s a light-hearted and nostalgic internet phenomenon that gained popularity in the mid-2000s.

Related Words

“Rickrolling” is a unique slang term with no direct synonyms. However, it is associated with other internet pranks and memes, including:

  • “Dank meme” – A term used to describe internet memes with a humorous and often absurd quality.
  • “Trolling” – Engaging in online behavior with the intention of provoking reactions from others.
  • “Bait-and-switch” – A tactic that involves advertising one thing but delivering something different, often with humorous intent.

Where Does This Word Come From?

The term “Rickrolling” originated on the imageboard 4chan in 2007. It was initially used as a bait-and-switch prank, where a link promising interesting content would lead to the “Never Gonna Give You Up” music video. The meme gained massive popularity on YouTube and other social media platforms, becoming a symbol of internet humor and nostalgia.

Who Uses This Word?

“Rickrolling” is primarily used by internet users, meme enthusiasts, and individuals with a sense of humor. It’s a form of online entertainment and often occurs during online discussions or as a playful prank among friends.

Examples of Using This Word

Here are some examples of how “Rickrolling” can be used in sentences:

  • “I sent him a link to a funny cat video, but it was actually a clever Rickrolling prank.”
  • “We decided to Rickroll our coworker by setting his computer’s homepage to the ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ music video.”
  • “Rickrolling is the internet’s favorite way to surprise someone with a catchy tune.”

What to Replace This Word in Academic Writing

“Rickrolling” is a highly informal and internet-specific term. In academic or formal writing, it is best to avoid using it altogether. Instead, describe the phenomenon using more formal language, such as “online bait-and-switch prank involving the Rick Astley music video.”

Quote of the Day

Here’s a famous quote that includes the term “Rickrolling”:

“Never underestimate the power of a well-executed Rickroll.” – Unknown


In conclusion, “Rickrolling” is a lighthearted internet prank and meme that involves tricking someone into viewing the music video for Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up.” It originated on 4chan and quickly spread across the internet, becoming a symbol of online humor and nostalgia. While entertaining in online culture, it is not suitable for formal or academic writing, where a more descriptive and formal language should be used to convey the same concept.