What does ‘Acoustic’ mean on TikTok? How does an intentional mispronunciation turn into slang?


The meaning of acoustic on TikTok is slang and the genesis of the word can be traced to a simple and innocuous instance of misspelling. The social media platform is facing a lot of bad publicity for the usage of this term on the platform.

Traditionally the word acoustic is related to sound and there is a separate chapter in physics and engineering that is devoted to ‘acrostics and sound waves’. However, the term has a different meaning on social media platforms, especially TikTok, and has created a huge controversy.

Introduction to Acoustic

Netizens were surprised to see the strange and puzzling term ‘acoustic’ on the social media platform TikTok. If you ask any student of science or even a common man, he will immediately say that it is something that is related to sound or music. However, on TikTok, it has evolved into a strange and even ambiguous meaning. The definition of this word is unclear.

TikTok is a platform that carved a niche for its varied and unique content which spans genres like comedy, socially relevant issues, sports, and even small but amusing anecdotes. many new terms have come into existence on social media and TikTok has also been witness to the birth of such strange words which have often been designated as slang acoustics is just one such example of the birth of a new slang even to the extent that it was born due to a mispronunciation.

Transition of ‘acoustic’ from traditional to contemporary slang

What does 'Acoustic' mean on TikTok

TikTok’s contents are often playful and amusing but not always and often it has created controversies like the word d-slur or the even more atrocious RCTA acronym, which stands for ‘Race Change To Another.’ The word Acoustic is also used in a very derogatory manner.

According to Urban Dictionary, the word acoustic is an intentional mispronunciation of the word autistic which medically is a state where a person is dim-witted or his IQ is poor. It could be caused due to genetics or the surroundings and we would like to categorically state that it does not mean that the person is dim-witted or stupid.

However, on TikTok, it is used in the same sense for some acts or thoughts which is incredibly stupid.

The word is used for acts that are a mistake or have been done intentionally for fun but more than the word itself what has disgusted users is its connection to autism and equating a neurological condition with negative traits or actions.

Just calling someone stupid is not an honorable act but disguising it with a word whose genesis originates from a neurological condition is atrocious.

Openly calling someone stupid can lead to a backlash but calling someone foolish in disguise of a word that describes an unfortunate mental condition is equally condemnable.

This word has come into prominence only now but has been making the rounds way back in 2016 and has since spread across various internet communities.

Definition of acoustic in traditional terms

Definition of acoustic in traditional terms

As already mentioned, acoustics is related to the propagation of sound. Sound propagates as waves and requires a medium. Sound cannot travel in a vacuum. Acoustics in physics is also the study of sound and in music also it has deep significance.

Even in engineering acoustics have a place especially when designing Cinema Halls and often the walls of Cinema halls are made of sound-damping material to prevent echoes. 

What does ‘Acoustic’ mean on TikTok?

“Being Acoustic” on social media platforms like TikTok has a different meaning and it does not mean being loud, vocal, or bossy. It is used as slang to describe an act of stupidity. Individuals have been using the word acoustic to describe other people’s actions and it is used in a derogatory sense.

In the past people have been inventing new terms and slang on social media sites. Memes like the Pepe the Frog and Forever Alone have been used as a synonym or a shorthand reaction to something. In the same way Acoustic is used to describe ‘stupid actions’.

Today the birth of slang on social media platforms is occurring at the drop of a hat and often users who are not well acquainted are left scratching their heads and searching for their meaning on the internet.


The proliferation of social media and the internet has thrown up strange situations and one such is the birth of new words. Some of these words may be a good thing but often atrocious and highly condemnable creation of slang like the present instance also happens.

The use of a word that is intentionally mispronounced to describe some act of stupidity with the symptoms of a neurological condition cannot be applauded.

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