How Birb Became The Internet’s Preferred Spelling


In internet slang such as LOLcats, Doge, and DoggoLino, misspellings are used as cute and humorous ways to fawn over our pets. For example, DoggoLingo has smol (“small”) and chonky (“chunky”) and before them was the snek (“snake”) meme. Birb continues in this tradition, meant as an adorable term for “bird” in posting pictures and memes about them.

Early instances of birb can be found on Twitter by fall 2012. In November, @ProBirdRights, an account known for its intentionally humorous misspellings and incorrect grammar, simply tweeted birb. In September 2012, another account referred to an Angry Birds character as a birb. There are yet earlier instances, but they appear to be nicknames, handles, typos, or other references to other, non-bird concerns.

In April 2014, a post was made in the subreddit /r/funny featuring a GIF of a blue parakeet reacting to its stuffed animal twin with the caption “We are birb. We must dance.” In October 2014, birb was added to Urban Dictionary and given its own subreddit /r/birbs, dedicating to our feathered friends.

Reddit / Tumblr

Search interest in birb takes off in 2017, corresponding with the growing popularity of DoggoLingo more generally. Birb-based fan pages, pictures, videos, art, hashtags, cosplay, and memes abound on social media. 

There is no difference between the meaning of birb and berb, although birb is more common. When birbs screech in DoggoLingo, they are humorously said to screm.



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