Why people are calling themselves accountants on TikTok
Rocky Paterra/emily_gbx/TikTok

People who are good with numbers no longer have a monopoly on the title of “accountant” – not in the world of TikTok, anyway.

Users of the social media platform may have found themselves coming across the term surprisingly often.

As frequently happens as new arenas of communication emerge, the word has recently developed an entirely new meaning.

The new definition was born in July thanks to a TikTok user and actor named Rocky Paterra, who – in a pretty catchy song – said that he pretended to be an accountant as a way to avoid talking about his job.

In a clip now viewed more than 4 million times, Paterra jokingly explained: “Nobody asks you questions when you say that you’re an accountant.”

It was soon picked up outside of the art world by those wanting to avoid awkward or annoying questions about their job.

With stigma around sex work particularly rife, the term’s use has perhaps become most notable among sex workers looking for a safe way to discuss their profession – with Paterra’s song becoming something of a meme anthem and providing a lighthearted way for sex workers to promote themselves online.

“I forget the exact moment that I started to notice the song exiting actor world and entering OnlyFans world as well as the actual accountant community, but I have been laughing along with every use of the sound,” Paterra told Buzzfeed in September.

“It made me realise that the song can function as an anthem for any line of work that you might not always want to have conversations with people about. Explaining the struggling actor life sometimes comes with its own awkward and annoying dialogue, and I’m sure that’s true for lots of other industries as well, so I’m just happy that my song can set a comedic tone for this scenario.”

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