Self-deprecation is the act of reprimanding oneself by belittling, undervaluing, disparaging oneself, or being excessively modest. It can be used as a way to make complaints, express modesty, invoke optimal reactions or add humour. It may also be used as a way for individuals to appear more likable and agreeable. Self-deprecation often reflects low self-esteem and is associated with depression and anxiety and has become increasingly popular in social media, especially among Gen Z.
’Self-deprecation’ is more properly ‘self-depreciation’, since the former (from Latin precari prayer) means ‘to pray against oneself’ and the latter (from Latin precium value) means to devalue oneself.