There are few things Canadians enjoy more than Jeopardy questions about our homeland: It gives us an opportunity to feel smart and smug while the American players on our television screens try to figure out who Don Harron was. Now gamers can get a taste of what that’s like too, thanks to the multiplayer murder game Among Us, which had the honor of being the subject of a question in a recent episode.
Except Jeopardy, as you may know, reverses the Q&A formula: “Slang adjective for someone you think is not what they seem, especially if they might be in the impostor game Among Us” is the answer on the board; the question, provided by contestant Mattea, is “What is ‘sus?'” She doesn’t seem entirely confident in her answer, but of course it’s right on the money.
Interestingly, sus is not a word invented by or for Among Us. As Inverse explains, the abbreviation of “suspicious” actually dates back to English police jargon in the 1930s in phrases about “sussing something out,” a usage that’s still fairly common today. “Sus law” was also used to describe a stop-and-search law enacted in England in 1824, which—no surprise here—was used to disproportionately target Black and brown people. That law wasn’t repealed until 1981, following the Brixton Riot in London.
Separately, “sus” became a regular part of the gamer vernacular thanks to the phenomenal success of Among Us, a little indie game that launched in 2018. It took a couple years to really blow up, but when it did in 2020 it became one of the most-played games on Steam—striding amongst titans like CS:GO, Dota 2, and Grand Theft Auto 5 at one point. Its popularity has cooled somewhat since, although it remains within the top 100 on Steam—and that silly little three-letter word has now truly carried it to the big-time: the hallowed Jeopardy board