Rustle jimmies (or rustling someone’s jimmies) is an internet slang that can refer to any type of action or activity that bothers, irritates someone, making them upset or uncomfortable.
The term’s etymology has its roots going back as early as the late 19th century, however, it has been revoked and implemented into internet-lingo on 4chan in the early 2010s.
Today the catchphrase is primarily used to describe events happening on the internet, commonly utilized when somebody wants to add a comical touch to their outrage about a topic.
In certain cases, rustle jimmies can refer to a man who is sexually aroused by whoever is “rustling his jimmies”.
The catchphrase was in relatively common use during the 20th century in American-English, but slowly started to fade out from the language as the millennium was approaching.
In 2010, an image macro of a gorilla saying “that really rustled my jimmies” was posted on the site FunnyJunk, marking the new era of the term getting re-introduced into culture.
The major event, which made rustle jimmies popular again, occurred on the /r9k/ board of 4chan. A post was submitted to the board, featuring a classic green-text story telling composed with vocabulary that resembled American-English from the 1950s. The text included the term “rustled jimmies”.
The phenomenon eventually spread on various other boards of 4chan, and over time, the term became more and more closely associated with a certain illustration of a gorilla. Memes about the gorilla and rustled jimmies started spreading outside of 4chan in 2012.