The term Hoopty is a slang word that refers to a very old, worn out car that should not be allowed on the road anymore. This term originates from the United States, and it is commonly used by Americans to describe their own cars or other people’s cars that are in very bad condition.
A “Hoopty” is usually a very cheap and low-quality car that has seen better days. The paint job is often bleak and covered in rust, and the whole car just looks like it’s about to fall apart. The condition of the car itself might not be too bad, but the ratchet bumper stickers and fluffy dice make it look like a cheap and rotten piece of junk.
The word “Hoopty” is often used as an insult when referring to someone else’s car, or your own car, when you are trying to make it sound worse than it really is. It can also be used as a verb, where one might say “I hoopted my car last night while driving home from the bar”.
The term “Hoopty” or “Hooptie” can be dated back to the 1950s, when it was used to refer affectionately to the Cadillac Coupe Deville. At the time, owning a car of such status was seen as a symbol of prestige and success, so the term was one of pride.
The popularity of the term skyrocketed decades later, in 1989, thanks to the hit hip-hop song “My Hooptie” by Sir Mix-a-lot – the same artist thet popularized the phrase Mack Daddy. The song celebrates being proud of your ride, no matter how old or beaten down it is. The lyrics made “Hooptie” a part of mainstream pop culture, and it has stuck ever since.
Today, “Hoopty” is not just used for cars, but can be applied to any beat up piece of machinery. It has become a jokey way to refer to something that may not be in the best condition but is still functioning and loved.
Following the release of Sir Mix-a-lot‘s song, “Hoopty” took over popular slang. Initially, it was more prevalent in black neighborhoods, however by the end of the 1990s, the expression spread all throughout America, largely thanks to the rising fad of hip-hop culture.
“Hoopty” was first defined on Urban Dictionary in 2003, with a large number of entries following in the subsequent years.
Although “Hoopty” is not nearly as popular as it was in the 90s and early 2000s, it is still widely used for beat up machinery and raggedy cars. The term appears in popular culture, through various media, including the 2013 video game Grand Theft Auto V, as well as movies, songs and series.
- Urban Dictionary – hooptie