Chad is a noun with multiple meanings and can refer to different things depending on the specific context.
1. In political terminology, a chad refers to a small piece of paper or cardboard that is produced after a hole is punched through a voting ballot. The chad is removed to indicate the voter's choice. This term gained widespread attention during the controversial 2000 United States presidential election, where the counting and interpretation of "hanging chads" and "pregnant chads" became a significant point of contention.
2. In informal language, chad can be used to describe small pieces or shreds that are left over after an object has been punched or perforated. For instance, after one has removed a paper with holes from a binder, the remaining small shredded paper pieces may be referred to as chads.
3. Chad is also a male given name, derived from the Old English word "ceadda," and is of English and Irish origin. It is believed to mean "warrior" or "battle."
4. In general slang, chad is often used to refer to a young, confident, and socially dominant man who is conventionally attractive and physically fit. This usage became popularized through internet memes and communities. The term often conveys qualities associated with masculinity and bravado.
Overall, the term "chad" can have several different definitions, ranging from its political use to informal references to small paper remnants and even its use as a personal name or slang descriptor for a certain type of man.
The term "chad" originally derives from British slang, specifically from the dialects spoken in the Midlands and Northern England. Its roots can be traced back to the late 20th century. It is believed to have originated as a regional variation of the word "chav", which was used to describe a working-class youth in Britain, often characterized by their distinctive fashion, behavior, and accent.
Over time, the word "chad" evolved in meaning and crossed over to American slang. In the United States, particularly within online communities, "chad" took on a different connotation, used to describe a stereotypical, hyper-masculine, confident, and socially dominant man. This usage of the term gained significant popularity following the 2016 United States presidential election, where it was used to contrast with the term "beta", denoting someone who is perceived as weak or lacking in social status.