It’s not uncommon for words originally used as slurs to be reclaimed with pride by the targeted group. Queer was reappropriated by gay people, deplorable by Trump supporters, and Impressionist by 19th-century artists.
It’s much less common for a pejorative term to be reclaimed twice. Yet that’s what’s happened with based.
Based was in the news earlier this year after confrontations between pro- and anti-Trump groups in Berkeley, California. Kyle Chapman, a 41-year-old Trump supporter, was arrested at a rally in early March for hitting an Antifa protester over the head with a stick. Chapman’s fans dubbed him Based Stickman and began creating a legend around him. Chapman, who was released on bail, had already racked up a colorful rap sheet that included three felonies. He was arrested a second time on April 10.
Based Stickman regalia. (Image source.)