What does 411 mean?


411 is a term that refers to information, often about something specific, like an event, topic, or person. For example, your friend may text you, "Give me the 411 on your friend Dena. Is she single?"

Origin of 411

The slang term 411 originated from the U.S. phone number by the same numbers. Before the Internet, dialing 411 in the 20th century was similar to getting on Google to search for information. People would dial 411 to connect with an operator that answered information-related questions, such as the location of a business or the phone number for a person.

Eventually, the number became so well known that people began colloquially referring to information about things as 411. Although people no longer dial 411 for information, you may still see or hear it in messages, emails, online, and in person when someone is searching for information.

Additionally, people may also use 411 when wanting to know how people are feeling or juicy gossip. For example, your friend may text you, "Just got out of a meeting. What's the 411 on Ben and Jen?!?"


Did you get the 411 about the dance next week?
No. When is it?
Friday at 7pm

Moe will give you the 411 on funk dancing for self-defense

Related Slang


Updated March 28, 2023

411 definition by Slang.net

This page explains what the slang term "411" means. The definition, example, and related terms listed above have been written and compiled by the Slang.net team.

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