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The creator of yapping

The creator of yapping

The term “yap” or “yapping.” has been on trend with younger generations, for around six months. Even Students at Southwest frequently use the term. Kelsey Nogai (‘24) says, “calling someone a yapper makes me jump for joy.” The word became popular on social media as a slang term for someone who talks constantly. Greg Strong, english teacher at Southwest, claims he is the one who started using the word and making it trendy at Southwest, even before it was a worldwide phenomenon.

When asked how he started using the term, he responded with, “I’ve developed a few habits [when teaching], one of which is picking a student I have a good relationship with and using them as someone to yell at as an example to set an expectation for other students. One of the things I’ve found that gets kids’ attention is when I say, shut your yapper! I found the word yapper really gets the class to listen.” Strong has been a teacher since 2003 and continues to use this strategy. He has been utilizing different forms of the word “yap” for more than twenty years.

Students of Strong would know that he likes to tell long, extravagant stories pretty frequently. The stories sometimes relate to the material that’s being taught or, otherwise, can be just for fun to have a break from the lesson. He can tell a story about pretty much any subject and go on a tangent about it for over half the class. This arguably conquers that Strong himself is a “yapper.” He doesn’t disagree with this statement and believes that, “when kids think of yapping, they think of people like Mr. Strong, who can take any topic and go on a rant about it.”

So, did Strong really start the trend with the term yapping? Coco Hoch (‘24), a current student of Strong’s, shared with me that “I never heard anyone use the word before Mr. Strong. I noticed he was telling students to shut their yapper early on in the school year, and I remember telling my friends because I thought the word yapper was funny. Once the word started trending like on TikTok I did think that Mr. Strong almost deserved credit for people using the word; I feel like yapper is his word.” It’s unlikely that the trend of the word on social media came from Strong, but at least his students know that in the end, he is the one that started using the term “yap.”

The next time you use or hear the word “yap,” keep Mr. Strong in mind. He deserves recognition for his unique teaching methods, which include using amusing language to get his students engaged and listening to his teaching.

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About the Contributor
Berit Campbell
Berit Campbell, Executive Editor
Berit is a senior, and this is her second year on The Navigator. She is thrilled to take on the role of Executive Editor this year. In addition to The Navigator at Southwest, Berit is a part of the tennis team and several activism-focused clubs. Outside of school, Berit can be found walking, biking, driving, or socializing at Lake Harriet, listening to music, and consuming coffee.

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