Sassy Meaning: Here’s What It Means and How To Use It

Not sure what it means to be sassy? We can help. Read on to discover the meaning of sassy, synonyms, antonyms, and more.

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According to The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition, sassy can be defined as being impertinent, disrespectful speech, or backtalk. 

On the flip side, when we review a different definition brought to us by Oxford Lexico, sassy means lively, bold, cheeky, and full of spirit. 

If you’re a little confused, don’t worry! In this guide, we’ll explore the origin of sassy — as well as its synonyms and antonyms — to uncover the term’s true meaning. 

What Is the Origin of Sassy?

Believe it or not, the word sassy originated when America was founded — during a shameful time in American history. It was a common term used by white slave owners to describe a female enslaved person who misbehaved or was disobedient in some way.

In 1833, the American English adjective sassy came from sauce or saucy — as in, bold, spicy, and impertinent. An example of sassy is a quick-witted, clever girl. 

To add to that, in the Mende language of West Africa, sasi could mean “a prideful boaster” or “to ridicule contemptuously.” While it hasn’t been verified, sasi matched so closely to the English term “saucy,” that some people believe it probably reinforced the use of “sassy” and “to sas,” relating to a spirited, confident, and lively person.  

According to British England, however, sassy means rude and showing no respect. It also means that something is referring to sex, especially in a humorous way like a saucy remark, manner, or look. Today, saucy and sassy are often used interchangeably to describe a cheeky person who is boldly flirtatious. 

What Are the Synonyms of Sassy?

To help you better understand the meaning of sassy, it can be beneficial to learn its synonyms

A synonym is a word or phrase that means exactly or nearly the same as another word or phrase in a given language. 

By discovering the synonyms of sassy, not only will you further your understanding of the term, but you can quickly improve your language skills by expanding your vocabulary! With that in mind, here are the synonyms of sassy provided by Word Hippo:

  • Cheeky
  • Bold
  • Impertinent
  • Insolent
  • Impudent
  • Brazen
  • Fresh
  • Coy
  • Brash
  • Audacious
  • Saucy
  • Cocky
  • Flip
  • Wise
  • Brassy
  • Flippant
  • Arch
  • Brassbound
  • Lively
  • Vivacious
  • Spirited
  • Jaunty
  • Bubbly
  • Feisty
  • Playful
  • High-spirited
  • Animated
  • Bouncy
  • Cheery
  • Peppy
  • Spry
  • Merry
  • Gay
  • Jolly
  • Smart-alecky
  • Smart-mouth 
  • Extroverted

What Are the Antonyms of Sassy?

In addition to learning words that have the same meaning as sassy, discovering words that have the opposite meaning of sassy will also help sharpen your overall sense of language. Called an antonym, here are the words that have the opposite meaning of sassy:

  • Meek
  • Mousey
  • Shy
  • Timid
  • Respectful
  • Afraid
  • Modest
  • Polite
  • Mannerly
  • Civil
  • Courteous
  • Well-behaved
  • Servile 
  • Cowardly
  • Submissive
  • Humble
  • Lifeless
  • Inactive
  • Spiritless
  • Lackadaisical
  • Unhappy
  • Depressed 
  • Gloomy
  • Dull
  • Docile
  • Introverted

How Can Sassy Be Used in a Sentence?

As you can see after reviewing the synonyms and antonyms listed above, you can use sassy in many ways. With that in mind, here are some great examples of the popular term used in a sentence:

“My sister is so sassy, always ready to give you a piece of her mind.”

“Don’t even think about being sassy with me!”

“Everyone should have at least one bestie with a sassy personality and wild-child heart.”

“For such a small person, Tinker Bell is so sassy.”

“That girl is sassy, outspoken, and very protective of her friends.’

“The tweets on Twitter have been so sassy lately!”

“If you look up sassy in the dictionary, you’ll find Suzie’s picture.”

“If you ask me, those sweet-n-sassy personalities are the best.”

“Here’s the scoop: The new manager is bold, kinda sassy, and a total game-changer to the office!”

“To be considered as someone with a sassy personality, you need to bring an extra serving of sass with you daily.”

“Doja Cat is my sassy hip-hop all-time idol!”

“The most memorable characters are always the sassy ones.”

“An impudent boy insulting strangers can be considered sassy.”

“The random house on the corner with the bright pink roof is chic and sassy.”

Does Sassy Mean Anything Else?

According to the Collins Dictionary, the word sassy can also be used as a noun. Sasswood (ˈsæsˌwʊd) or sassy wood / (ˈsæsɪ) has two meanings as a noun: 

  • The bark of a leguminous African tree (Erythrophleum guineense) yielding an alkaloid used as a substitute for digitalis, and a poison used in trial by ordeal.
  • This tree itself, which is also called sassy wood or sassy bark.

Likely from a language of the Kwa family: compare Twi sese plane tree, Ewe sesewu a kind of timber tree. 

In Summary

So, what does sassy mean, you ask?

Simply put, the definition of sassy refers to many things, such as someone or something lively, bold, and a little feisty. It can also mean being rude and showing no respect. 


  1. Sassy bark definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary
  2. What is another word for sassy? | Sassy Synonyms | WordHippo Thesaurus
  3. SASSY English Definition and Meaning |
  4. American Heritage Dictionary Entry: sassy | American Heritage Dictionary