Word: DupeOn the next best thing.

Word: DupeOn the next best thing.

Issue 50

, Starters

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  • Words Precious Adesina
  • Photograph Priszcilla Varga

Etymology: The “dupe” is an invention of the internet. Back in the early 2000s, there were fewer high-quality beauty products and when they sold out, cosmetics enthusiasts would take to online forums to share alternatives or duplicates—“dupes” for short. By the time of the 2008 recession, however, “dupe” came to refer specifically to cheaper alternatives to sought-after brands. The term has since been popularized by money-conscious TikTok content creators (and is often spelled “doupe,” “doup” or “doop” to reflect the exaggerated way the platform’s users pronounce the word). Today, there are many influencers who have made finding dupes their life’s mission, sometimes even when the shoe, bag, blow-dryer or lipstick they are duping was initially a dupe itself....

ISSUE 52

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