The Brief: At the 2020 Super Bowl halftime show, Shakira stuck out her tongue repeatedly and made a distinct sound, sparking a variety of memes about the gesture and its meaning.

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The Super Bowl LIV Pepsi Halftime Show featured iconic performances from both Jennifer Lopez and Shakira and was widely lauded as an epic spectacle. One moment, in particular, stole the internet’s attention: when Shakira looked directly into the camera, stuck her tongue out, and made a “louloulouloulou” sound. This clip has gone viral online with many “Shakira tongue memes” comparing this expression to similar ones and pointing to situations in which people exude the same energy as Shakira’s.

Many people recognized this expression as zaghrouta: a way to express joy in Arab cultures, often used at weddings.

Others cited Shakira’s hometown of Barranquilla, Colombia as the possible origin of this expression. As Shakira was born in Columbia and her father is Lebanese, it’s possible that this gesture had multiple meanings for her.

This woman yelling at cat meme illustrates Twitter’s obsession with Shakira’s “tongue thing.”

https://twitter.com/DylonHopp/status/1224176423407058947

https://twitter.com/hoesuueee/status/1224176739250651136

https://twitter.com/jordanmoreau_/status/1224144207440306176

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Shakira Shakira
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Shakira at the halftime show
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Shakira’s Super Bowl performance
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