What It Means When Someone Is Being 'Extra' — Plus 17 Hilarious Memes That Explain How To Use It

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What Does 'Extra' Mean? 17 Memes That Explain The Definition In Slang
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Dramatic pause, please...

As far as my 34-year-old self is concerned, there is only one definition that works for the word "extra," but let's all break out our dictionaries, m'kay?

The fine folks at Merriam Webster define the word extra this way: "More than is due, usual, or necessary."

Well, that makes sense, and as someone who has perpetually worn a size extra large, I am more than simply well-acquainted with the term. And before that cantankerous generation known as the millennials savagely grasped onto that word (and admittedly, I am one of them, but only just barely), it's meaning was fairly neutral and could often be seen as a good thing.

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Extra-large means more to love. An extra cookie means yet another delicious cookie for you to unexpectedly enjoy. Having extra room means that yes, you CAN actually get on the same train car as that hot guy you've been eyeing from across the Metro platform with Looney Tunes-type hearts in your eyes (and in your vagina).

However, my previous understanding of that word and its connotations went flying out of the window when I first stumbled across it being used as slang online. All across social media, the cool kids now use extra — or "so extra" or even "super extra" — to refer to someone who is, in short, acting like a MAJOR drama queen.

The first definition of extra in this sense arrived on Urban Dictionary in September of 2003 and is as follows:

"Extra: Over the top, excessive, dramatic behavior, way too much. 'Robert's behavior was extra when he refused to accept Anna's apology.'"

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So when you hear or read someone saying something along the lines of, "He's being a little bit extra today," they mean that this person is being overly emotional, somewhat difficult, dramatic, and/or a prime candidate for casting on the next Real Housewives franchise Bravo pulls our of its creatively oh-so-extra flared sleeves.

Extra can also be used to denote someone who is trying way too hard to fit in or seem cool. You know, a poser.

While the viral popularity of extra seems to have really picked up around 2015, as with many slang words we suddenly see explode across memes and meme videos on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and the like, the true origin of calling someone extra as a way to say they are simply TOO MUCH first began within African American Vernacular English, also known as AAVE.

As noted by Zeba Blay, Senior Culture Writer at the Huffington Post:

"From 'the bomb' to 'holla' to the very short-lived 'YOLO,' black slang words often go through the cycle of being used by black people, discovered by white people, and then effectively 'killed' due to overuse and a general lack of understanding of how to use these words."

I happen to think it's super extra important to know where the words we use come from, not only so we don't look damn fools, but also in order to better appreciate how language can bring us all together. Okay. My Kumbaya moment is over now, I swear.

Reading a definition of any word is all well and good, but if you want to truly understand the way all of the precious angel babies on Tumblr are using a word as slang, it's better to see some good examples of it in use for yourself.

So here are 17 hilarious memes that perfectly express everything the word "extra" really means today.

1. This dog defines extra.

"Me when I realize I overreacted and was being a drama queen but it's already too late so I gotta keep my ground. Also me not being extra 100%."

2. When you just cannot help yourself...

"Friend: It's real casual, don't be extra.

Me:"

3. When your gender reveal party is a little too-too.

"Her: Just tell me the baby's sex. Don't be extra about it!!!"

Me: ok babe.

Also Me:"

4. Who doesn't love being extra in love?

"High school relationships be like: I'll see you next period. I love being extra."

5. Grandpa thinks he's making things easier for himself, not extra for himself.

"My grandpa always gotta be extra af."

6. Can makeup be extra? Why, yes. Yes, it can.

"The most extra eyeshadow swatch I've ever seen."

7. So extra even your seating is over the top.

"This is how extra I am."

8. When being extra is in your blood.

"Friend: Can you stop being so extra?

Me:"

9. When you're trying to fight that extra urge...

"Me: don't do too much, you don't want to be extra.

Also me: do the most."

10. Those who aren't extra wish they were extra.

Before you say I'm 'extra' and too much', ask yourself... are you even 'enough'?

11. A scheming extra bestie! 

"Is your best friend really your best friend if she's not willing to be this extra to make your man jealous...?"

12. Why would I stop being extra when it makes me look so damn fine?

"You need to stop being so extra.

Me:..."

13. Sometimes even moms can be a little extra...

"Today was crazy hair day at my lil cousins school and this is what her mom did to her. she's so extra i love it."

14. When your iPhone calls out those extra peeps in your life...

"When the clique is being extra."

15. Go extra or go home.

"So I retook my senior photos & brought my ring light with me so my highlight would be poppin. I love being extra."

16. PUT A FISH IN IT. 

"When you're in the mood to be extra."

17. And just for the record, anything and everything unicorn is always — ALWAYS — so super extra.

"When you're trying to be quirky but end up being a little bit extra."

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Rebecca Jane Stokes is a sex, humor and lifestyle writer living in Brooklyn, New York with her cat, Batman. She hosts the sex, love, and dating advice show, Becca After Dark on YourTango's Facebook Page every Tuesday and Thursday at 10:20 pm Eastern. For more of her work, check out her Tumblr.

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