What Does “Walk the Dinosaur” Mean?

The phrase “walk the dinosaur” has been a subject of intrigue and speculation for music lovers and pop culture enthusiasts. Originating from the 1987 hit song by Was (Not Was), “Walk the Dinosaur” has permeated into various facets of our cultural lexicon, including movies like Ice Age and covers by artists such as Queen Latifah. But what does this phrase truly signify? Let’s delve into its meaning, origins, and impact.

The Origins of “Walk the Dinosaur”

“Walk the Dinosaur” is a song by the American band Was (Not Was). Released in 1987, it quickly gained popularity due to its catchy tune and peculiar lyrics. The song featured a blend of funk, pop, and dance elements, making it a staple on dance floors around the globe.

The lyrics, particularly the chorus line “Everybody walk the dinosaur,” left listeners puzzled. While the song doesn’t provide a clear explanation, the band members have shared their insights over the years. According to them, “walk the dinosaur” signifies a primitive, instinctual dance that harks back to our prehistoric ancestors.

Interpreting “Walk the Dinosaur”

Despite the band’s explanation, many listeners have interpreted “walk the dinosaur” in their own unique ways. Some perceive it as an invitation to let loose and enjoy life, akin to how we imagine dinosaurs roamed freely in their era. Others interpret it as a call to embrace our primal instincts and connect with our ancient roots.

Interestingly, the song’s music video further fuels these interpretations. It features people dancing in a prehistoric setting, reinforcing the theme of connecting with our ancestral past.

“Walk the Dinosaur” in Pop Culture

As a testament to its enduring popularity, “Walk the Dinosaur” has made several appearances in popular culture. One of the most notable instances is in the animated film Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs. The song was covered by Queen Latifah, who lent her unique touch to this classic hit.

The song’s inclusion in Ice Age brought it to a new generation of listeners and further cemented its place in pop culture. It also sparked a dance craze known as the “walk the dinosaur dance.” Inspired by the song and the movie, this dance involves movements that mimic those of a dinosaur, adding a fun and playful element to the song’s legacy.

“Walk the Dinosaur” Today

Today, “Walk the Dinosaur” continues to resonate with audiences worldwide. Its catchy tune, intriguing lyrics, and the mystery surrounding its meaning have ensured its longevity. Whether it’s through covers by modern artists, its presence in movies, or the dance craze it inspired, “Walk the Dinosaur” remains a significant part of our cultural landscape.

So, what does “walk the dinosaur” mean? It seems the answer isn’t definitive. Perhaps it’s an invitation to connect with our primal roots, a call to embrace life, or simply a catchy phrase from a hit song. Regardless of its true meaning, one thing is clear: “Walk the Dinosaur” has left an indelible mark on music and pop culture, and will continue to do so for generations to come.


From its origins with Was (Not Was) to its interpretation in pop culture phenomena like Ice Age and its cover by Queen Latifah, “Walk the Dinosaur” has transcended its initial release as a song. It’s become a phrase that invites interpretation and engagement, sparking dance crazes and discussions about its meaning. As we continue to “walk the dinosaur,” we’re not just dancing; we’re connecting with a piece of pop culture history that continues to evolve and resonate.

Leave a Comment