The Lions' Pride

The History Of Memes

Elianna S., Staff Writer

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A meme, according to, (pronounced meem) is a cultural item in the form of an image, video, phrase, etc., that is spread via the Internet and often altered in a creative or humorous way. The word meme comes from the book The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins who abbreviated the Greek rooted word mimeme to meme. Meme originates from the word même in the French Language which means ‘alike’ or ‘same’. Memes are mostly spread through social media sites such as: Tumblr, Twitter, Vine, Ifunny, 4Chan, Reddit, etc. Memes are made popular by how relatable the meme is. Memes are generally made of a specific formatting, with text on the top or bottom of the image with an image that is funny in the center. The text relates it to possible everyday scenarios that the audience has most likely experienced. Famous Meme icons can be redrawn and made to have a variety of expressions.


Memes have become popular at Tarbut V’ Torah, especially among Middle and High School students. Some of the more popular memes at Tarbut have been a product of Vine videos, especially the more recent ones. I have noticed a rising trend in the imitation of dance moves and the use of popular slang such as ‘fam’, as well as references to Vines with the word ‘bruh’. Of course, memes do get old, especially after being overused. Memes also go out of style eventually (thank goodness), but it is also possible for them to be revived.

Memes began in the mid-2000s, and the first meme is unknown. Rage Comics are a popular use of memes such as the rage faces that are incorporated into comics that are published to the internet, especially Reddit and Ifunny. Another popular meme is the Demotivator meme, which is when an image is used for humorous commentary. Many Memes are for the most part composed of cats, especially since they are cute and seem to be some of the clumsiest animals.

Memes also are used to criticize others, by repeating another’s words and using it in different contexts. A popular theme of memes on Tumblr is the use of the word ‘Aesthetic’. Aesthetic means something that is pleasing to the eye, or like artwork. The use of scenes from movies, especially images are also considered memes, as well as videos in which people dub over the original voices and sounds to make them funnier. Many also are made of people who resemble others, especially animals or cartoon characters.

Memes overall affect the younger generation in the ways they speak and behave. Memes may seem stupid, but memes bring people together from all over the world (and the internet).

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The History Of Memes