Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 27 September 2020

Jabroni: Wrestling slang coined by the Iron Sheik officially added to Dictionary.com

The word was made famous by Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson

Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson made famous the word 'jabroni', which has now been added to Dictionary.com. Getty Images
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson made famous the word 'jabroni', which has now been added to Dictionary.com. Getty Images

If you were a wrestling fan in the early 2000s (and maybe even if you weren’t), you may have called someone or been called a “jabroni” at some point. The wrestling slang, made famous by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson but first coined by the Iron Sheik, has now been officially added to Dictionary.com.

The website this week announced its biggest update with more than 650 new words added, including the latest one that pro-wrestling fans will be familiar with.

“Yes, we put jabroni in the dictionary. We assume The Rock could smell us cooking up this update the whole time,” Dictionary.com wrote on Twitter in response to feedback on the word being added to the site.

Here’s the official definition for jabroni as listed on Dictionary.com:


Slang. a stupid, foolish, or contemptible person; loser:

She always has a comeback to own the trolls and jabronis on Twitter.

Shut your mouth, you dumb jabroni!

Most WWE fans will recognise the last example as a catchphrase The Rock, known for his witty quips on the mic, often said to opponents throughout his wrestling career.

Upon news of the word making it on to Dictionary.com, Johnson responded to a post by the WWE Instagram account.

“Cool! I may have made the word famous and part of culture, but it’s the one and only Iron Sheik’s word #jabroni #SheikeeBaby,” he wrote in reference to being influenced by the Tehran-born wrestler.

In an interview with Esquire in 2015, the former WWE champion was asked specifically about the word.

"When I was a kid, it was an inside term that guys would use," he said. "When wrestlers wanted to have a private conversation when fans were present, they would start talking carny because they used to wrestle in carnivals. I thought it was so cool. Jabroni was a word that was always used in the derogatory sense. Oh, this jabroni, that jabroni.

"But the Iron Sheik was famous for saying the word constantly backstage. Jabroni, jabroni, jabroni. Around 1998, I thought, Why can’t I say it on TV? So I started saying it publicly, but the Iron Sheik was known for it."

This isn’t the first time Johnson has helped get a WWE word into the dictionary. The word “smackdown” was added to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary in 2007.

Updated: September 2, 2020 05:00 PM

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