The Woah has reached the upper corners of popular culture, inspiring heated debate about who invented it. The dance craze originated in Dallas and has been performed by rappers like Lil Uzi Vert, Drake, and Travis Scott. It's also been embraced by viral TikTok stars, including 10k Cash, who's been seen doing the gesture in a number of videos with his followers. But who created the gesture that's become a major part of Gen Z culture?
It's important to remember when using the word whoa that the spelling is the only difference between the two words. The spelling is based on the pronunciation of ho, an interjection that originated as a command to slow down or halt your horse. The h is up front, which makes it easy to remember.
Whoa is often used as an exclamation that expresses surprise, wonderment, or great pleasure. It can be a response to a question, or it can be an affirmation such as, "Whoa, that's amazing!"
Although woah isn't in the Merriam-Webster dictionary as an official spelling variant of whoa, it has seen an increase in popularity over the past few decades. It's more likely to appear in informal contexts such as social media posts, text messages, and memes, where misspellings are more common. That's why it's important to keep the spelling of whoa in mind when using the word in conversation or in written text, especially in professional settings such as in articles or blog posts.