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Oohhh, Dab for Me!

by Natasha Christopher

Dabbing has become a viral phenomenon over the past year with celebrities, politicians and even royals performing the dance move in public. Dabbing is a dance move that has been circulating among people especially the youth. To pull it off is pretty simple, really. Everyone can do it. Just drop your head while you raise an arm to the side, and rest your face inside the inner elbow of your other arm as if you’re sneezing into it. Basically like so:


Sounds ridiculous? That’s dabbing.

But if you think you know what dabbing is all about now, not so fast. It is also a term for smoking butane hash oil, which coincidentally seems to be the primary ingredient in marijuana. Some say the dance move represents how a person would sneeze if one takes a lot of cannabis. According to the Urban Dictionary, dabbing is the act of vaporising concentrated marijuana by placing it on an extremely hot metal object and inhaling the vapors produced. Inhaling this harsh and concentrated form of marijuana often causes one to cry and wipe one’s tears away while coughing and passing a bong. Another meaning is the act of the dance move itself.

So much for the claims stating that dabbing didn’t come from a drug usage, huh. In any case, the word “dab” has been making headlines for quite some time, so it’s not entirely all about Ganja!

‘Dabbin’ or ‘the dab’ is also the name of a dance move believed to have originated in the Atlanta, Georgia rap scene. In May of 2015, a dance video appeared on YouTube titled “Dabbin Dance Official Video”.

That fall, a hip-hop trio called Migos released a song titled “Look at my Dab”, with part of the lyrics clearly referring to drugs:

Look at my dab, spreadin’ dab across the map

I’m dabbin’ when I walk up in the trap

I look at the pot, I’m like get in there

And another part suggests that it is a dance form or fashion statement:

thinkin’ that it’s just a dance

When dabbin’ is a way of fashion

—”Look at My Dab,” Migos

In a short while, the phenomenon seemed to have spread into sports! National Football League (NFL) to be specific; the Carolina Panters’ quarterback did the dab to celebrate every time he scored a touchdown. Then came a tsunami of celebrity dab appropriators including Jerry Springer, Tom Hanks, footballer Paul Pogba and also American politician, Hilary Clinton.


Dabbing lived on when the UK’s Labour Party’s Tom Watson dabbed in the House of Commons. It set the United Kingdom in a state of shock that a person would dab in an official government meeting. It clearly showed this dabbing fever had spread worldwide.

To dabbers out there, happy dabbin’!

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