Swiped Left: Definition, Meaning and Origin

Last Updated on
October 30, 2023

Idioms often capture the essence of an era, and "swiped left" is no exception. Originating from the digital age of dating, this phrase has become a staple in modern lingo. But what does it truly signify?

In short:

"Swiped left" refers to the act of rejecting or disapproving something, primarily stemming from dating apps where a left swipe indicates a 'no.'

What Does “Swiped Left” Mean?

The phrase "swiped left" has its roots in online dating. While the phrase has a negative connotation, its usage can vary based on context.

Here's a deeper dive into its meaning:

  • At its core, it signifies rejection. On many dating apps, swiping left on someone's profile indicates you're not interested.
  • It's not just limited to dating. The phrase can be used in various contexts to indicate disapproval or disagreement.
  • It can also imply a missed opportunity or a decision made in haste that one might regret later.

Where Does “Swiped Left” Come From?

The origin of "swiped left" is deeply intertwined with the rise of digital dating.

Let's trace its history:

  • The phrase gained popularity with the advent of Tinder, a dating app launched in 2012. On Tinder, users swipe right to indicate interest and left to reject.
  • As Tinder's popularity soared, so did the usage of this phrase. It quickly transcended the app's boundaries and found its way into everyday conversations.
  • It's a testament to how technology influences language and how quickly new phrases can become part of the cultural lexicon.

Today, even those who've never used a dating app likely understand the meaning of "swiped left."

10 Examples of “Swiped Left” in Sentences

Here are some examples that showcase the versatility of the phrase:

  • I saw his profile and immediately swiped left.
  • She presented her idea, but the boss swiped left on it.
  • They swiped left on the first venue but loved the second one.
  • He regretted swiping left on that job offer.
  • I swiped left on that movie suggestion; it didn't seem interesting.
  • She swiped left on the dessert menu and went straight for the main course.
  • They swiped left on the traditional design, seeking something more modern.
  • I wish I hadn't swiped left on that opportunity.
  • He swiped left on the first few profiles but found a match eventually.
  • She swiped left on the initial plan and drafted a new one.

As evident, the phrase can be adapted to various situations, making it a versatile addition to one's vocabulary.

Examples of “Swiped Left” in Pop Culture

The phrase has made notable appearances in pop culture:

  • "Swiped Left (On the Love of Your Life)" by Melancholy Robot includes the lyrics: "It's so sad how you swiped left to the love of your life." The song delves into the regrets of online dating.
  • "She Swiped Left" by Mr. Wait features the line: "She walks up to me, then swiped left."
  • "Girlfriends Swiped Left" is an episode of "The Jerry Springer Show." The episode deals with a woman annoyed by her girlfriend's suggestive pictures with men.
  • "Should've Swiped Left" is an episode of "Ana Polo Rules." The episode focuses on Melissa, who says a man she met on a dating app walked out on their date.
  • "Why I Swiped Left on Dating Apps" is an article by Adam K. on Medium. The article talks about how quitting dating apps improved the author's life.

Synonyms: Other/Different Ways to Say “Swiped Left"

While "swiped left" is unique to the digital age, there are other ways to convey a similar sentiment:

  • Rejected
  • Passed on
  • Declined
  • Dismissed

You can use these phrases in a context similar to "swiped left," which adds variety to the expression and allows its use beyond the confines of dating apps and digital language.

10 Frequently Asked Questions About “Swiped Left”:

  • What does “swiped left” mean?

It refers to rejecting or disapproving something, a term popularized by dating apps where swiping left means saying no to a potential match.

  • Where did the phrase originate?

The phrase originated from the dating app Tinder, where users swipe left to reject a profile.

  • Is it used beyond dating contexts?

Yes, it's used to express disapproval or rejection in various contexts beyond dating.

  • Can you use it humorously?

Yes, many use it in a light-hearted or humorous way to indicate rejection or disapproval.

  • Is it a formal expression?

No, it's considered informal and is used more in casual conversations and online communication.

Yes, it can be used in writing, especially in informal pieces or articles discussing modern culture and technology.

  • Do people use it globally?

Yes, with the global use of dating apps, the phrase is understood and used worldwide.

  • Are there similar phrases?

Yes, phrases like rejected, passed on, declined and dismissed convey a similar meaning.

  • Is it used in songs or movies?

Yes, it's referenced in songs and TV shows, reflecting its cultural relevance.

  • Will it remain relevant?

As long as digital dating remains popular, the phrase is likely to stay relevant.

Final Thoughts About “Swiped Left”

The phrase "swiped left" refers to rejecting or showing disinterest in a potential match on a dating app, most notably Tinder.

To summarize:

  • The term originates from the user interface of Tinder, where swiping left on a person's profile indicates a lack of interest while swiping right signifies the opposite.
  • "Swiped left" has transcended its original context and is now used metaphorically to express rejection or disapproval in various aspects of life, not just romantic pursuits.
  • The phrase is versatile and has found its way into everyday language, being used in contexts ranging from job interviews to social interactions, symbolizing a negative judgment or decision.

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