I learn that 'diss' is a shortened version of "disrespect" Urban Dictionary: diss

For example, try to diss me, man.

What's the opposite of it?
I searched 'spect' as shorthand for 'respect'.
Nevertheless, it does not feel as strong and smart as 'diss'

'Diss' is a extremely popular in China as cyberspeak for joking with each other.

  • 1
    That Chinese usage sounds like a new usage. Please provide an example sentence.
    – Mathieu K.
    Commented Feb 4, 2018 at 20:00
  • 2
    surely, if its an abbreviation, it should be spelled "dis". Bare respek.
    – Jodrell
    Commented Feb 5, 2018 at 14:31

9 Answers 9


My first thought was to give someone props:

  • give props to (one)
    To praise one and show them respect. Thank you, but I have to give props to Jeanne, who organized this entire event for us.
  • props
    noun, ( usually used with a singular verb) Slang.

    1. proper or due respect or recognition; credit:
      I give him props for putting up with annoying customers.


That's well-known here in the US. There's a relevant post on ELU: What's the etymology of “props”?

Notice that props itself is not used as a verb in this sense. We don't *prop or *props someone to mean that we praise them.

  • 6
    Yes, this is likely the best answer. Note the current (or at least, not too old) slang for "great respect" would be "mad props".
    – Andrew
    Commented Feb 2, 2018 at 8:28
  • 3
    +1 I'd say the actual antonym is the positive, rispek', but this is idiomatic. Commented Feb 3, 2018 at 23:33

Kudos is originally used to praise and honor someones achievements, but is also used to show respect in popular culture nowadays.

For example, you could congratulate your friend on passing a test by saying:

Kudos to you for passing that test! That is quite a feat.

Be mindful that kudos is a singular form, even though it looks like a plural.

  • 2
    I always thought it was one of those nouns that is always plural, like pajamas or cahoots. You can't give someone a single kudo, only two or more (even if they deserve only one).
    – Andrew
    Commented Feb 2, 2018 at 8:33
  • 1
    @andrew: kudos (from the Greek κῦδος - fame or glory) is uncountable. dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/kudos
    – JavaLatte
    Commented Feb 2, 2018 at 13:24
  • 6
    The meaning is right, but the social context is quite different. That is, the kind of situations in which you'd say "diss" are not the ones you'd say "kudos."
    – yshavit
    Commented Feb 2, 2018 at 17:20
  • @Andrew or chinos. penny-arcade.com/comic/2016/03/18 Commented Feb 2, 2018 at 21:36
  • Kudos used to be more commonplace on the internet than it is nowadays, and was definitely used to in situations where respect would have worked as well.
    – Lars Mekes
    Commented Feb 5, 2018 at 6:57

Big-up or Big-ups is used to acknowledge respect


The term diss is certainly slang. All dictionaries that I checked list it as such. So, the opposite of it should probably also be a slang word. Thus, one possible antonym of the word diss that you might consider would be the term respek (see definition #4 in Urban Dictionary) which was popularized in the early 2000s by the satirical fictional character Ali G portrayed by British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen. And it can definitely be used as an inside term (a term that's typically understood only by people who know certain facts and context).


Stop dissing me, man. Instead, show me some respek.

— I nailed his ass five times in a row in Warcraft today.
— Total respek, man!

Ali G talks about how respek is important (don't forget it's comedy): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vqtg_JFGh6I

  • 9
    Also, I don't think it's a slang; it's just an eye-dialect (if not merely a misspelling) of 'respect', IMO. Commented Feb 2, 2018 at 13:19
  • 3
    But the question is can respek be considered the opposite of diss? I certainly think it can. Everything else is details. Commented Feb 2, 2018 at 13:24
  • 5
    Like most slang, there will be a group of people that know it well. Respek, (with a certain emphasis, and use as a one word sentence), was a common word in Caribbean communities of a certain age in the UK. It is probably where Ali-G got it from, and it certainly answers the original question!
    – Paddy3118
    Commented Feb 2, 2018 at 13:46
  • 3
    @user178049 Dictionaries are not the definers of language, they are the references of language - new words enter the dictionary all the time. "Hangry" only entered this year for instance. bbc.co.uk/news/uk-42870791 Commented Feb 2, 2018 at 14:04
  • 4
    @user178049 - I think that's a pretty shabby litmus test for determining what is or isn't a "valid word". I remember when d'oh wasn't in the dictionary – but it's there now. Same with qubit.
    – J.R.
    Commented Feb 2, 2018 at 18:05

I have heard ‘spec’ used in UK as a positive reinforcement of a person’s integrity, a shortened form of ‘respect’.

  • Do you have a source that supports your answer?
    – Lars Mekes
    Commented Feb 2, 2018 at 12:21
  • 4
    @LarsMekes It's very difficult sometimes to find a written citation for newish spoken slang. It might help to add an example sentence to the answer that illustrates how 'spec is used.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Feb 2, 2018 at 12:48

You mention that diss is slang. You didn't mention whether you wanted your result to be slang. Here are some less slangy results:

  • prop (as in "prop him up", slightly different than "give him props" as noted in Max's answer)
  • give kudos [to] (again, a variation of usage from another answer, this time Lars Mekes's answer)
  • several others: compliment, envy / be jealous, follow, praise (or "singing his praises"), glorify, honor, elevate, dignify, give homage, venerate

  • 1
    I'm not sure how common "give homage" is, but "pay homage" is what I usually hear in American movies. Commented Feb 3, 2018 at 10:28

"Stroking" is verbally boosting someone's ego, with praise or gushing admiration or fawning.

It seems to me the perfect absolute antonym to "diss", which isn't just about disrespect, it's about trying to tear someone down and damage their ego.

"Bob, that was really the best, your stuff is the best, you're the best."

"Aww, Betty, thanks but you really don't have to stroke me like that."

  • I'd recommend against this one, as I can think of two possible misunderstandings of "stroke me like that". The first has to do with petting as with a cat, and the second isn't fit to print.
    – Mathieu K.
    Commented Feb 4, 2018 at 19:57
  • @MathieuK. That's the point. The word is SUPPOSED to evoke that double entendre. (At least that has always been the intention when I hear it.)
    – user65014
    Commented Feb 5, 2018 at 21:35
  • 1
    No, it's fine to leave it at stroking as in a cat. Plus, I don't think we need to worry about the sensibilities of people who are already having a conversation in which the word "diss" is being used.
    – Beanluc
    Commented Feb 5, 2018 at 21:38


Sometimes: word up

From generally the same culture as 'diss' comes the single word exclamation: word, signifying respect or agreement with the person spoken to.

The Urban Dictionary definition of "word" is

"Word" has no single meaning, but is used to convey a casual sense of affirmation, acknowledgement, agreement, or to indicate that something has impressed you favorably.

  • 1
    Can't be dropped into place except in such short exclamations as Diss! Burn! (vs) Word! For instance: "Why do you always word John?"
    – Mathieu K.
    Commented Feb 4, 2018 at 20:10
  • 1
    Sure it can. People have been verbing nouns and interjections for ages. "Diss" itself is such a phenomenon.
    – Beanluc
    Commented Feb 5, 2018 at 21:39

Diss can be used as a verb or as a noun. Similarly, it's antonym should be the same.

Complement is the closest word I can think of.

He dissed me. He complimented me.

That's a bad diss. That's a good complement.

  • 3
    I don't think complement ( Something that completes, makes up a whole, or brings to perfection) means what you think it means. Perhaps you meant compliment?
    – ColleenV
    Commented Feb 4, 2018 at 16:37

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