Smack talk is a type of informal communication between two or more people based on friendly or antagonistic rivalry and insults. The level of insults used in this type of communication can vary quite a bit, depending on the intent of the message and how well the people know each other. In general, however, the language used is meant to denigrate the listener and make the speaker seem more impressive, often through direct insults and bragging. Smack talk is often used between friends as a way to demonstrate familiarity and to show that each person is comfortable enough with the other to handle good-natured insults.
Sometimes also called trash talk, smack talk typically involves purposeful antagonism and insults between two people as a form of communication. Different types of insults can be used for this sort of communication, though in general its purpose is to make the speaker look superior compared to someone else. This type of communication often occurs in competitive avenues, such as insults traded between athletes or flaming that occurs on Internet forums and online games. Such smack talk can be as simple as calling into question the intelligence of one person, or it can consist of far more elaborate insults based on the comments or personality of a particular person.
Basic smack talk usually consists of a simple insult meant to make one person look foolish or inept. Bragging also commonly occurs, as the speaker makes himself or herself seem smarter or more impressive, in order to downplay the achievements or intelligence of someone else. Insults exchanged through smack talk can also be extremely vitriolic, often using personal details and information about a person to be as offensive as possible. Profanity is frequently used, and observers to such talk may react positively to especially creative or unusual profanity and insults.
While the basic purpose of smack talk may seem to be for one person to insult another, there is a secondary component to this type of communication in some settings. Friends often engage in this communication as a way to demonstrate the strength of their friendship. If two friends are playing a competitive video game together, for example, it is often quite acceptable for one to brag about a victory and insult the other through smack talk. This type of communication usually demonstrates a level of comfort and familiarity between these players, while insults between people who do not know each other well can result in increased hostility and potential violence.