What does Meta mean?

Talking about itself

Meta is a term used when something references itself, particularly in the field of art. An example could be a movie about making a movie, or a song about songwriting.

The origin of the word ‘meta’ traces back to Greek, where it means “beyond” or “after”. This word has been used to create new terms like “metadata” and “metaphysics”. However, in the pop culture scene of the 2010s, ‘meta’ took on a new meaning to describe works of art that show a clear understanding of their own medium.

While ‘meta’ is commonly used to describe self-referential works in pop culture, it’s also used in more general situations where things surprisingly loop back on themselves. For example, discovering that your grandfather worked the same job in the same city as you do now might be considered ‘meta’.

Example for using ‘Meta’ in a conversation

Hey, have you seen that new show about a group of actors making a show?

Yeah, it’s so meta! They’re literally making a show about making a show! πŸŽ₯