The Philosophy of Derp

The word “derp”. It originated from the internet and is commonly used in memes. It is often used as a shortcut to having to choose between saying many different words and phrases, including “oops”, “brainfart”, or “I’m being stupid”. I “derped” whilst writing the previous sentence because I clicked on the thing that said “Pop-out” in the bottom left hand corner and this little editing window went away. I thought my brief dissertation that I just wrote was gone forever! But it wasn’t. Phew. So I guess that you could say I just experienced a “double derp”.

“Derp” is a common word to use in internet conversations; that is where the word is primarily used, although the usage of the word “derp” can possibly be used in everyday face-to-face conversation. Internet comics featuring “derp” are also very common and are; in some sense, integral to each other. A character named “Derp” is portrayed as an oval-headed man with exotropia strabismus. A female version is also popular. Her name is Derpina. Here is an example of a Derp comic:

The other face included in the comic is “Troll Dad”. He is in the bottom right hand corner and he is being used in this situation to imply that the father was screwing around, or “trolling”, when he decided to name both of his children “Derp”. Perhaps he was on something. Now. “Derp”, besides being a word to describe accidental/idiotic notions or a name for a character, is also used as a label. Take this here instance of a Derpina implementation.
These two women clearly aren’t both Derpina. There can only be one “Derpina”. This comic makes fun of how photos of women may be subject to lots of attention on Facebook if the woman’s clothing is very revealing, but not so much if she is dressed conservatively. The maker of this comic may also be satirizing women who take lots of photos of themselves by giving these two women the Derpina face; perhaps suggesting that women who take lots of pictures of themselves are something to make fun of. With this concept of placing Derp or Derpina faces on people or using them as representations of people, you can essentially give humans in general “derp qualities”. This means that it would make grammatical sense to call someone a “derp”.

The name/label “derp”, in itself, does not seem like a completely dark insult. It isn’t. However, it can still be used as an insult to some extent. It does have a joyous, goofy sound to the consonants being used (much in the same way that the word “kiki” has a pointy sound). But I can see how it could be used obnoxiously in a scenario with less mature people. This could certainly be used obnoxiously in an elementary school playground. Something along the lines of “Don’t let him on the swings! He’s a stupid derp!” could be uttered. Yet, it is safe to assume that massive moral discrepancies to society will not come about as a result of Derp/Derpina comics and memes.


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