Hard Pass

What does Hard Pass mean?

Definitely no

When you come across the term ‘Hard Pass’, it basically represents a strong rejection or refusal of something that has been offered to you. It’s not merely a pass, it’s a definite and resounding ‘no’ to an idea or suggestion.

The origin of this phrase isn’t very clear, but it’s believed to have been created to express a stronger sentiment than a simple ‘pass’. The addition of ‘hard’ provides an extra level of emphasis, indicating a strong distaste or aversion. This phrase, particularly on social media platforms, gained popularity in the mid to late 2010s, and was often used to express disapproval of posts that were deemed scary or unsettling.

Usage of ‘hard pass’ is prevalent in situations where there is a strong wish to avoid something. Examples can range from refusing a food item that you find repugnant, declining an invitation for a date from someone you intensely dislike, or expressing your unwillingness to revisit awkward phases of your life, like middle school.

Example for using ‘Hard Pass’ in a conversation

Ugh, my friend invited me to go see a horror movie tonight.

Hard pass! I can’t handle scary movies.

Haha, yeah, I’m not into them either. Let’s do something else instead.

Definitely! How about grabbing dinner and watching a comedy?