As a reader of this site, I'm willing to bet that just about all of you have used the word "metal" as an adjective. Whether you're describing someone's t-shirt, album art, or just a particularly brutal thing someone did, it's a pretty diverse word. Diverse and well-used enough anyway that Merriam-Webster is considering adding it as an adjective to the dictionary.
Here's how the dictionary views the word currently as an adjective.
That right: this use of metal is the unruly teenage offspring of the term heavy metal, which of course refers, as your hopelessly academic-sounding dictionary asserts, to "energetic and highly amplified electronic rock music having a hard beat."
The upstart metal descriptor evokes the powerful energy and dark themes of heavy metal music, communicating toughness, intensity, and general, er, badassery.
Merriam-Webster cites examples from 1998 using the word as an adjective, and described the whole ordeal as "a pretty metal development."
Anyone else got a hankering to watch some Metalocalypse now?
Here are some related metal studies:
- Science Explains Why People Like Moshing So Much
- One Study Says 80's Metal Fans Have Grown Up To Be Responsible Adults
- Metal Fans Are The Least Likely To Cheat On Their Significant Other, According to New Study
- One Study Shows That People Stop Listening To New Music At Age 33
- Sharks Are Less Aggressive When Listening To Rock And Metal
- Metalheads Are The Most Loyal Music Fans According To Spotify
- Scientific Study Ranks The Most And Least Metal Words
- Of Course! One of The Scientists Who Discovered Water on Mars Is A Metalhead