Let’s Get It Right: It’s Breakin not “Bboyin / Bgirlin”

I want to touch on a topic that most of us find meaningless but should be talked about and hopefully fixed. For the last decade when describing “Breakin” the community has flipped it to “Bboying” but truth be told, the word is incorrect and shouldn’t be used.

As KRS ONE says in regards to Rapping and Hiphop. Rap is something you do, Hiphop is something you live. Breakin is something you do, a BBOY/BGIRL is what you are. Look at it this way:

Rap = Rapping = MC
Write = Writing = Writer
Spin = Spinning = DJ
Break = Breaking = Bboy/Bgirl
Pop = Popping = Popper

BBOY/BGIRL stands for BreakBoy BreakGirl NOT BreakBoying or BreakGirling.

Now in terms outside of Hiphop:
If you’re an artist you’re not “artering”
If you’re a basketball player you’re not “Basketballing”
If you’re a Doctor you’re now “Doctoring”

These examples might be a bit dumb but truth is, thats what we are being when we state we are Bboying or Bgirling.

About a year ago I personally realized that I was wrong myself for always using those terms. One of the company slogans reads Strictly Bboyin and Always Hiphop. I stopped using the slogan and plan to switch it to Strictly Breakin and Always Hiphop.

Hope this opens the eyes of a few. As we like to say KNOW YOUR R.O.O.T.S. ROOTS = Respect Our Original Traditions & Styles.

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10 Responses

  1. Wassim says:

    im sorry but first heard breakin , the name of breakdance cam out , so when we say bboying we know that is about bboy stuff , its the real word of that , im a bboy and i do bboying that’s our Roots , i think to make that change you should ask the oldest bboy (crazy legs , ken swift , maurizio , swift roc …) with all my respect

  2. D.j. ManeOne says:

    Trac 2, first generation bboy, will disagree with this article.

  3. D.j. ManeOne says:

    It was also called Rocking at one time.

    • Mex says:

      Seriously? Dont you think we know that? We are speaking about the last decade. Trac2? Really? He is a great friend and mentor. The Bboy Spot has Trac’s blessing to teach/speak on the art of Breakin… Any other names you might want to drop? Legs? Ken? Ness? Freeze? should I keep going? the list of O.G’s Ive learned from runs deep.

    • John says:

      once again…..someone who does rocking is a rocker by the rules of grammer….people never did rockering….

  4. D.j. ManeOne says:

    If you’re a boxer, you’re boxing! haha

  5. Mav One says:

    posting this at the gallery mex! thank u.

    -Mav

  6. Samuni says:

    I’ve never thought about it before a Bgirl told me about it but its true, the term Bboying is gendered and excludes all the females of our culture. Then we organized a discussion panel in my town and Poe One confirmed that the original term (after rocking go off etc.) is Breakin and not Bboying.. I guess that as always in the history of Hip Hop culture that there is a controversy about the original terminology but as far as I’m concerned we should stick to Breakin just out of respect for the females within the culture!

    pez
    Saman (Flowjob)

  7. Racel Sopoco says:

    I don’t find these terms disrespectful. They’re not rude or insulting to the dance. I always thought it was weird that a culture that encompasses freedom of expression and creativity would be so against such minor twists on terminology. We use slang every day. I have many nicknames but I’m still me. Isn’t this just one of those things you teach people when they’re first introduced to the scene? like “this dance was originally called…….”. Just like teaching foundational steps, of course it’s important for people to know the history and foundation but it’s not disrespectful to flip everything, in fact that’s exactly what’s encouraged. I agree that teaching history is important, but in every day talk is it really that big of a deal? besides I’m 30 years old and have heard different opinions of hip hop terminology none of which have ever affected my thoughts or attitude towards the overall culture. Probably a mix of things were said back in the day too. anyways, It all means the same thing to me.

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