It's Giving or Giving X is a slang term used to describe someone or something's look or vibe with a positive ironic connotation, derived from the phrase "giving X vibes." For example, "It's giving rockstar" would positively describe someone as having a rockstar vibe. It is used similarly to the slang term "serving" on its own to describe someone or something as exceptionally great, such as "this apartment is giving." The term is often portrayed as stereotypical queer slang, similar to terms like, "yass," and "slay." It originates from Black Trans communities and the New York City Ballroom scene. It became increasingly popularized in late 2023, primarily on Twitter.
The exact origin of the term is unknown. A possible origin is influencer Rolling Ray, a disabled gay man. In 2019, he appeared on an episode of Divorce Court and used the slang term a number of times, notably introducing himself to the judge by saying, "It’s giving very much how you doing your honor Ms. Judge Lynn Towler" (shown below).
It was first defined on Urban Dictionary by user MariamFromTheDMV on March 23rd, 2023, who defined it as "used before describing something or if used alone means serving like serving a look." A May 3rd, 2023, Urban Dictionary definition for "it's giving" read, "it’s giving means that something is cute or 'giving.'"
The phrase started to become popularized on Twitter in 2023 to describe the vibe of certain images in a positive and ironically funny way. For example, on June 29th, 2023, Twitter user RALPHALXNDR posted "it's giving lois griffin" in response to an image of a RuPaul's Drag Race winner's Ariana Grande and Lady Gaga cosplay (shown below).
The term became increasingly popularized over the course of 2023 and 2023, gaining significant attention in late 2023. On November 18th, 2023, Paper Mag titled an article about Shawn Mendez and Camila Cabelo's breakup "It's Giving Breakup," which was screenshotted and shared by Twitter user P0SITIONZ the next day, gaining over 26,800 likes and 1,700 retweets in two weeks (shown below). It was also posted to Instagram that day by wregon, gaining over 72,000 likes in the same span of time.
On November 26th, 2023, Twitter user spideygirlie posted an image of Tom Holland and Zendaya in nice clothes captioned "it’s giving gym and english teacher" to describe their vibe as similar to a gym and math teacher, gaining over 2,600 likes and 270 retweets in five days (shown below, left). On November 28th, British girl group Little Mix posted an image to Twitter of one member in a green fur-lined room, captioned "It's giving the muppets" to describe how the room looks like a Muppet, gaining over 28,000 likes and 2,600 retweets in three days (shown below, right).
On August 1st, 2023, Twitter user @girlbehindphone tweeted an image of a pasta dish purchased at a market around Dimes Square, New York with the name "It's giving… pasta" and the caption "we are doomed as a society." The tweet received over 122,000 likes and 6,000 retweets in the course of a day, representing a backlash to the slang term.