What Does “It’s Meta” Mean?

Have you ever been wandering around life’s merry way when you hear someone say…

“Woah, that’s meta.”



The first time I heard that, I had no idea what that meant. So I asked Google. Google then proceeded to throw things at me with remarkable precision. So then I asked a bunch of college students from various majors.

They all just kind of went “huh.”

So without answers I started digging deeper, and this is what I found. We know that “meta” is a relatively common prefix. It means “beyond” or “in relation to.”

So, metaphysics means “beyond physics.” A metaphor is basically “beyond the words on the page.”

Meta Knight is also the most awesome anti-hero in the history of video games. Also, the bane of every Super Smash Bros. player ever.

Anyway, back on track. Meta is anything distinctly self-referential or recursive. In modern usage it also normally must possess an element of humor.

A person watching TV of a person watching TV of a person watching TV (like in Star Trek’s The Menagerie, look it up) is meta. A quote of a quote of a quote is meta.

Was it Max who asked “Was it Oliver who asked ‘was it Sydney who asked ” was it Josiah who asked where the remote is” ‘ “? That’s meta.

Meta is one of those things that’s hard to capture in a bottle, although if you did you’d actually have to capture meta in a bottle in a bottle for it to count. Look out for it, and don’t be afraid to be that annoying 14-year-old who always says…

Woah, that’s meta.


Published by

Matthew // Normal Happenings

Matthew Estes. STL-based Blogger. Graphic Designer. Happily Married. One day I'll actually complete a book I'm happy with. I love pizza, video games, and using way too many ellipses...

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s