What does Clout mean?

Clout is not your everyday possession that you can buy just with money.

If you have “clout”, you have power. You have means.

You have the ears of the people, drinking your words like rappers drink lean.

To have “clout” is to have influence, exposure and recognition; it is one of the pillars of the American dream.


What's the origin of Clout?

While “clout” is a popular contemporary slang term, it has a long history of use, dating back to the 1860’s, when people with “clout” possessed a large amount of political influence.

The word originally meant “punch” or “force” and a person with it could get things in motion in such exclusive places as Capitol Hill or Wall Street.

Spread & Usage

How did Clout spread?

“Clout” was further popularised during the 1980’s, when Mastercard lauched an ad campaign, with the term reocurring in it.

The modern hype around the expression“clout” rose again in the 2000’s, with the rising popularity of social media platforms, like MyVIP or Facebook.

In 2008, the app Klout was launched, which calculated the “Klout score” of a person, based on the size of their follower base and likes.

Having “clout” during the 2010’s meant that people possessed a lot of popularity and approval from the masses.

This had led to the rising trend of influencers across the web.

Urban Dictionary users have been uploading entries on “clout” since 2003, amassing a large amount of various interpretations and understandings on the phenomenon.

External resources

  • Urban Dictionary – Clout

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