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Sylvia Plath
The evidencevia Twitter @AlanaMassey

Sylvia Plath started ‘basic bitch’

The troubled poet might have coined the phrase decades before we all started using the insult

Can anyone really be the sole inventor of ‘basic’? Maybe. Someone must have been the first to put their stamp on the insult of our generation. Some accredit the word to the least funny viral comedian on YouTube, LilDuval, and his comedy routine sprouting a never-ending list of basic bitch traits. Maybe the originator was Kreayshawn and her song Gucci Gucci (“Gucci Fucci, Louis Louis, Fendi Fendi, Prada/ Them basic bitches wear that shit so I don’t even bother”).

Actually, you all might be wrong. It looks like the word goes way back. To the 1950s. A Twitter user called Alana Massey was reading The Journals of Sylvia Plath and came across Plath using the word.

If you line her usage up with Urban Dictionary’s definition, it’s pretty fucking close:

1. Used to describe someone devoid of defining characteristics that might make a person interesting, extraordinary, or just simply worth devoting time or attention to.

2. Lacking intelligence and unable to socialize on even an elementary level.

3. Annoyingly frustrating because of the above

Plath had the best withering tone in the game. Her take-downs were exquisite and she possessed more molten, bubbling fury than all the Angry Young Men put together. It’s really no wonder she coined it. Basic, she was not.