Meanings of Clout
Welcome to another post and yet another word explanation … sort of. Today’s focus is on “clout,” a word that has resurged up into popularity lately. Clout in normal situations has a couple of different meanings already. It can be a hit or a strike, and also some kind of cloth.
But we don’t want to focus on those definitions. If you’re looking this up, you’re likely searching for the most common use for this word in — American English, anyway — which is having strong influence either in business, politics, or some field related to these.
Read more: Clout in the learner’s dictionary
This meaning, though, has slightly changed in recent times. In some casual or slang contexts, usually in music or on social media, clout refers to general fame or recognition. Someone with clout is in control, calls the shots, and makes the decisions. It’s pretty much the same as being popular.
Also, having clout on social media is having lots of popularity (on those media platforms), having lots of followers, getting lots of attention, and so on. Sometimes people who are looking to be more popular or chasing after fame and influence are called clout chasers.
Oh, and perhaps you’ve heard of this?
Like I said, these meanings are all pretty close to the same thing. Still, informally, clout is more about having fame online or being popular when you go places. The traditional meaning is less about having showy popularity where everybody knows you and more about having real power and leverage to make big changes. This is often in an elite field like politics or business.
Below is a short story featuring the characters from Adventures of Charles. Here, clout is explored with some more or less realistic examples, if you care to see that. Either way, thanks for stopping by. Good luck with your English studies!
‘Lead fame hit’
clout used in sentences
What a weird story! I can’t believe you and Jonah saw all of those crystals, though. That must have been amazing. You’ll have to take me on your next trip.
Read previous story: Depth trap dive
Charles looked over at his friend, Sheila, with a smile as she steered the wheel. She had a way of making everything seem exciting. Oh, and she made driving look so cool.
–I know, it was amazing! The crystals were just beyond belief.
I guess Charles was also good at that.
Sheila thought for a moment, then decided to say, –I just don’t know how you guys afford these elaborate vacations. Are you guys, like, secretly rich or something? ‘Cus you need to tell me if you are.
Charles laughed and decided to tell the truth.
–Well, you know, I have nothing to do with it. Jonah is the one with all the connections. I think he has some clout with the airlines because of his cousin, so they let him travel when he wants.
- He has some influence or leverage with this company, he has a certain amount of power and freedom with them.
–That’s dope! she responded enthusiastically, paying closer attention to the street signs now. Charles watched as the red and green streetlights skimmed over her face. –It must be good to have a friend like that.
–Well, I’m sure you have clout too in the music world. You could probably walk into a club and everybody would know who are. And want to buy a drink for you, too.
- I’m sure you have influence, I’m sure that you are popular in the music world.
–Hey! I ain’t that famous. Not yet, anyway. But I do wish I could get some of that clout on Instagram or something. My songs aren’t reaching the right audiences yet.
- Get some popularity, more attention, influence on Instagram.
Charles placed a hand on her shoulder, about to say, “Don’t worry, grasshopper. Your time will come,” or something like that. But before he could shed his words, Sheila jerked her neck and turned to the side, pointing her finger at a dark corner building.
–Oh my God! That’s the old studio, she said.
–Really? Charles replied. –It looks barren.
–I know, huh? Let’s go record something! I bet you they still have all the old equipment.
As he undid his seatbelt, Charles nodded and replied, –Old equipment? Look out! Now you’ll really be famous.
Sheila parked the car at the corner by the dark-looking ruin of a building. Charles then took a deep breath, and they went in.
To be continued …