What does the core suffix mean on social media?


On social media, words that end with -core typically refer to a stylized aesthetic. For example cottagecore is an aesthetic centered around romanticized rural living, and goblincore is an aesthetic centered around overlooked natural things. You'll most likely see -core words in posts showing off the associated aesthetic, via pictures, videos, or both.

What is the origin of -core?

The -core suffix is a transplant from the word hardcore. For decades, those who are very into a cultural scene have been expressing how "hardcore" their love is by creating a -core word for that scene. For example, those who are very into emo music and the emo lifestyle may say they are emocore, while those who are into thrash metal may say they're thrashcore. (Another interesting example is mumblecore - a movie genre that focuses on dialogue and naturalistic acting over plot.)

In the late 2010s and early 2020s, -core's meaning shifted almost entirely to "aesthetic." This is likely a result of social media users' increased focus on their appearance, and showing their appearance off to others.

What are some other -core aesthetics?

Because culture is an ever-evolving creature, there are more -cores than you can shake a stick at. Some other examples include:

  • Normcore: An aesthetic centered around plain, unisex clothing.
  • Tropicore: An aesthetic centered around palm trees, beaches, and other stereotypically tropical things.
  • Americancore: A satirical aesthetic centered around being as stereotypically American as possible.

Some other popular social media aesthetics, such as dark academia and coastal grandmother, do not use the -core suffix but are just as pervasive.


What do you think sportscore would look like?
Aesthetics can be combined to create combocores
Aesthetics can be combined to create combocores

Related Slang


Updated April 28, 2022

-core definition by Slang.net

This page explains what the slang term "-core" means. The definition, example, and related terms listed above have been written and compiled by the Slang.net team.

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