“Psych” Meaning: What Does “Psych” Mean and Stand for?

Last Updated on October 12, 2023

“Psych” was a term that was heard a lot in the late 80s and early 90s, but is not heard so much anymore. However, if you are here then it means you have heard or seen this word being used so perhaps it is making a comeback and you are seeking to understand it.

Fortunately, you have come to the right place. Here you will find the meaning of this slang term, information about its origin, and some other meaning if there are any. You will also see the word being used in proper context in some example conversations to help you better understand its meaning and how it is used. Lastly, you will find some alternative words or phrases that you can use in place of the term without changing the meaning of the word.

Psych Meaning

What Does Psych Mean?

The meaning of this term is an abbreviated form of the word psychology. The term is used when someone is trying to mess with someone’s mind making them believe one thing via a statement and then automatically backtracking by saying this word and then saying something opposite.

Origin and Context of Psych

The term originated in the 1960s. Originally the term was “psyched out” but was shortened to this term over time and usage. The original term meant to unnerve someone and make them believe one thing before directly stating the exact opposite. Although the phrase was shortened to this singular term, the term maintained the same meaning.

Psych in Conversations, Messages, and Social Media

A text conversation between two friends

  • Friend 1: I hate you! You are such a d*ck!
  • Friend 2: What?!
  • Friend 1: Psych! I am just kidding! You are the best friend ever and you are totally awesome!

An online discussion between two Instagram users

  • User 1: This picture is awful! You should take it down, delete it, and pretend it never existed!!
  • User 2: WTH?!
  • User 1: Psych! I am just messing with you! It is a great picture!

A post on social media

In social media posts, “Psych” might be used to create amusing or surprising content. For example, someone may post a headline that reads:

Breaking news: World’s largest chocolate factory shutting down 

Scrolls down 

Psych! It’s actually expanding.

More About Psych

Psych Synonyms

There are several synonyms that you could use in place of this term to convey the same thought without changing its meaning. Some of the other words you could use include:

  • Just kidding
  • Just messing with you
  • Just joking
  • Don’t take it seriously!
  • Just trying to take the Mickey.
  • I was only jesting.
  • I’m just poking fun at you.
  • I’m just pulling your leg.
  • I’m only being silly.
  • It was only a joke.
  • Just joking!
  • I was only playing around.
  • I’m just fooling around.
  • I’m just having a laugh.
  • I’m just messing with you.
  • Just teasing you!

Other Meanings of Psych

There are only two other meanings listed for this term on the internet. The first is the title of a television show which aired on the USA Network. The second meaning is a term used as an abbreviated word to refer to the medical field of psychology.

What Does Psych Mean? | Infographic

Psych Meaning: What Does Psych Mean and Stand for?Pin

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the origin of the term ‘psych’?

The term ‘psych’ originates from the Greek word ‘psyche,’ which refers to the human soul, spirit, mind, or the “breath of life.” Over time, the term evolved and became associated with the study of the human mind and behavior, known as psychology.

How is the term ‘psych’ used in daily conversations?

In everyday conversations, ‘psych’ can be used as a slang term to describe the action of mentally preparing oneself or someone else for a challenging situation. This often involves motivating or encouraging one another. Additionally, it can also refer to tricking or teasing someone by pretending to agree or offer support, only to reveal the opposite intention.

What are some common synonyms for the word ‘psych’?

Common synonyms for the word ‘psych’ include psyche, mind, mentality, mental state, and cognitive processes. When used as a slang term for preparing oneself mentally, synonyms can include motivate, encourage, or even mislead.

In what context is the term ‘psych’ typically used in?

The term ‘psych’ is typically used in contexts related to mental processes, human behavior, and motivation. It is frequently employed in conversations discussing mental health, sports coaching, and personal growth. When used as a slang term, it may appear in informal situations among friends, colleagues, or teammates.

How does ‘psych’ relate to the human mind and psychology?

‘Psych’ relates to the human mind and psychology by referring to our mental processes, emotional states, and behaviors. The study of psychology aims to understand how people think, feel, and act in various circumstances. Elements such as motivation, cognitive processing, and emotional regulation play a significant role in shaping our mental states and are all components of the broader concept of ‘psych’.

Can you provide examples of phrases using the word ‘psych’?

Sure! Here are some examples of phrases using the word ‘psych’:

  1. “We need to psych ourselves up for the big game tonight.”
  2. “Jane psyched herself out by worrying too much about the presentation.”
  3. “I was just trying to psych you out when I told you I had finished the project early.”
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