What Does Pop Off Mean?

To Pop Off Meaning

Definition: To speak and act suddenly in an angry manner.

Origin of Pop Off

This expression originated around the 1930s. A person who is popping off is usually overcome by emotion and feels that he or she must say something, even though the time and place may not be appropriate, or it may be premature.

Other definitions of this expression include to die suddenly, which comes from the 1700s, and to kill someone, which comes from the 1800s. It can also mean to leave, which comes from the early-1900s.

This idiom, regardless of which definition it has, most likely comes from the root word pop. Pop comes from the 1300s and means a strike or a blow. Because a blow is often sudden, explosive, or violent, pop off retains this implication.

Examples of Pop Off

pop off urban dictionaryIn this example, two parents are talking about their children.

Rodrigo: I’ve been dealing with so many behavior problems from my kids recently. They are so obstinate! Does that ever happen with you?

Alisha: No, not really. I have the opposite problem. My kids are so laid back that it is hard for me to get them to care about anything.

Rodrigo: They made me so mad yesterday that I just popped off. I yelled at them for not cleaning up their rooms. I shouldn’t have lost my temper.

folks wanna pop offIn the example below, two siblings are discussing the problems one of them is having at school.

Luis: Why are you so late? School ended over an hour ago.

Stephanie: My math teacher gave me detention.

Luis: Why?

Stephanie: I think he’s just jealous that I’m so much better at math than he is.

Luis: Hm. That seems unlikely. Are you sure you didn’t pop off in class? I know sometimes you yell at your teachers when you get frustrated.

Stephanie: I did pop off at him, but I still think he punished me out of jealousy.

More Examples

This quote below is from a man explaining how to incite violence.

  • “The key is initiating the conflict by having leading conversations with people who are naturally psychotic,” Foval says. “I mean honestly, it is not hard to get some of these a——s to pop off. It’s a matter of showing up, to want to get into the rally, in a Planned Parenthood t-shirt. Or ‘Trump is a Nazi,’ you know. You can message to draw them out, and draw them to punch you.” –USA Today

This quote is from a coach talking about a football player who made some negative comments about him.

  • “For him or anybody else to pop off like that I think is absolutely a joke,” Ryan said. “If David Harris would have said something, or D’Brickashsaw Ferguson, Nick Mangold or something, I’d be hurt by it. I would absolutely be devastated by it. But a kid like that, nah.” –New York Daily News


The phrase to pop off is another way to say to become furious and speak out in anger.