Monday, March 30, 2015

What "___ Gives Me Life" Means (Slang Meanings)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post provides information about the expanded use of the phrase "[someone or something] gives me life".

The content of this post is presented for cultural, folkloric, and sociological purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post.

This post is a companion to the pancocojams post on the vernacular use of the word "Mom" and other mother referents by fans (stans; i.e. "serious fans") of drag queens and by fans of other celebrities. Click for that post.

"To give something or someone life means to give it or them energy, validity or significance.

"Girl, she is giving us LIFE with that outfit" or "What you just said was so shady, I will NOT give it life"
by MaiyLove November 23, 2013"
Previous uses of "give life" were mostly limited to "mother" and "God". However, the vernacular saying can refer to fashions, music, sports, television shows, celebrities, specific performers, quotes, - literally anything that gives an individual or group of people energy (vitality), validity, or significance.

Saying "___ gives me life" is a great compliment to that person, group, or thing/s.

Someone who or something that gives you life is the opposite of someone who or something that deplete your energy (sucks vitality from you, drains you) or something that is untrue or insignificant.

Job 10:12 New American Standard Bible
"You have granted me life and lovingkindness; And Your care has preserved my spirit."

Job 33:4
"The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life.
Revitalizes me, gives me energy, pumps me up"

The earliest example of this expanded meaning of "__ gives me life" that I've found is a July 2012 tweet that asks is this a new slang (phrase):
Slim K
‏@SlimK4 "What does "giving me life" mean?? is that a new slang??"

3:40 PM - 17 Jul 2012

Here's another early example of "___ gives me life": "Black Gay Slang, Explained To Suburban White People"
By Madison Moore by November 29, 2012,
"Phrase #5: _______ gives me LIFE! E.g., Honey, BeyoncĂ©’s performance on the VMAs last night gave me my life!
Explanation: I had a particularly riveting time/the experience was rather sensational and/or transformative."

Here are some other examples of "___ gives me (us) life"
From "Meet the Contestants on RuPaul's Drag Race Season Six! Also, Why We Absolutely Love This Show" by Phoebe Robinson, December 11, 2013
"Initial Thoughts: If oxygen went by another name it would be "Joslyn Fox" because she is serving fierce realness that's giving me life."

Deonte Randle

"@serenawilliams that dress is giving me life. #Nike #AusOpen #2015Champ"

12:14 AM - 20 Jan 2015

February 2015, Bougie Girlz Fashion
"This dress is giving me LIFE and it has boning in the "V" to keep the shape. "A-Mazing Midi" dress is her name only $50.00 and only sizes S-M left"

From "RuPaul's Drag Race - Alaska's perfume commercial"
singingstar56, March 2015
"Ru's laugh gives me LIFE everytime"
"Ru" = RuPaul Charles is an African American actor, drag queen, model, author, recording artist, entrepreneur, producer & host of several television series, particularly RuPaul's Drag Race.


"katy perrys new song is giving me life in this library"

Source: wingbeifong, via officialandymcnally)

Katy Perry is an American singer.

MissSteakcandy, March 30, 2015
"Can we talk about Kandy's lipsync??? It gave me so much life. I really hope she steps it up the next episode, cause she's a really great performer.
Kandy is a contestant on season 7 of RuPaul's Drag Race. "Lipsync" is the final competitive segment that is performed by the two lowest rating contestants in that episode.

"Gay slang/terms: What do they mean?" Rudapu, 2013
"I live/I'm getting life- To live is to be at the peak of your happiness or excitement. You live when your favorite song comes on unexpectedly. You can live when you see someone's outfit and just really appreciate the effort they put into it. I live when Beyonce performs live and slays the stage with her presence."

Rika, 2013
" "i live" - Said as if that if one's sole purpose in life. You live for this or that. Over dramatic and said exaggeratingly. It is just something you really enjoy. "

A number of religious songs refer to God giving people life. A number of romantic songs also refer to a person giving the singer life.

The single "Give Me Life" by the Black British group JLS was released in the United Kingdom on 14 December 2012. I don't think that its a coincidence that the lyrics to that song fit the slang meaning of "giving me life". However, given its release date, that record wasn't the original source of that phrase. Here's an sound file and an excerpt of the lyrics to that JLS song:

JLS - Give Me Life (with lyrics and pictures)

LightyGurl Published on Nov 26, 2012 [record released in 2012]

Lyric video for JLS - Give Me Life (with pictures)


...I feel your blood pumping through my veins
My veins, right through my veins
So when you go I feel so drained
So drained, I feel so drained
The flow of your energy is raging
Cause girls when it's gone, it leaves me craving oh

Intravenous love, feel it dripping into my veins
Intravenous love, feel it pump pump pump

You give me life
Woah woah
You give me life
Woah woah
You give me la la la la la la life.
Keep me alive, check my vital signs
My pulse feels weak, so weak
I need a supply of your mouth to mouth
Don't speak, load me, don't speak
The flow of your energy got me racing
And let's go cause it's live or die we're chasing, oh...


Added May 16, 2015 - "Ooo, You Just Got Your Life" statement by WSSU Cheerleaders at the end of their Victory Circle dance.

2013 WSSU School song and Victory Circle

Artistry Photography Published on Nov 4, 2013
Victory circle dance after winning the WSSU vs Shaw football game. OOOOO You Just got your life!
Winston Salem State University's [stomp and shake] cheerleaders perform a victory circle when their football team wins a competition.

"You just got your life" is a variant form of the saying "___ gives me life". "Giving life" means that it's full of energy/it is invigorating. The cheerleaders don't need outside confirmation They KNOW they killed it (put on a superlative performance). Here's a comment from this video's discussion thread that refers to the cheerleaders "giving the fans life":
April Johnson, 2013
"Yes omg this did really just give me life, always and forever the greatest, so much energy and inspiration in that circle!!!"
Click for a pancocojams post abour WSSU's Victory Circle.

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  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Greetings, Bibi Bello.

    Thanks for the shout out. I really appreciate it.

    I've deleted your comment because it contained your email address. If you want to re-send it you can.

    I've emailed you and look forward to connecting up with you.

    Best wishes!