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Modern Life - What is Delulu? By Richard Godwin

Regulars | By Richard Godwin

Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds Volume 1 1852 Charles Mackay

Delulu is short for delusional. It’s another one of those Gen Z-isms, where people take a perfectly serviceable English word, abbreviate it in a quirky way and let it loose on the internet. See also: Oxford Word of the Year 2023, ‘rizz’ – short for charisma. Only, while the meaning of rizz is fairly straightforward – if you have ‘mad rizz’, it’s a good thing! – delulu is a little more, shall we say, ambigugu. At first, it was an insult. Specifically, it was used by K-Pop fans to mock the most obsessive and delusional of their number. As in: ‘OMG, Stacey actually thinks Jungkook from BTS is going to respond to her Reel? Totally DELULU!’ Over time, however, delulu has evolved and is now used mostly in an approving way. A person who does whatever the hell they want without giving a damn what anyone thinks might be said...

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