Since the mid-aughts, the phrase on point has been a slang term meaning "perfect", essentially a synonym of on fleek. This definition was popularized by 1990s hip-hop, where it had more of a connotation of being "ready to go". Before that, it may have been influenced by several different historical usages: it can describe a soldier leading a military formation; in legal jargon, it can mean "relevant"; and (this was probably most impactful) in ballet, to balance on the points of your toes, or en pointe, is considered the perfect way to appear weightless. Through association with precision and improvement from all these sources, the modern definition eventually came to be. According to Google Trends, searches of "on point" peak every spring and autumn, and I'm not sure why. Maybe people hear it from other people while they're in school, and then search up the meaning? Interesting, no matter what.
Hello! I'm Adam Aleksic, a senior studying government and linguistics at Harvard University, where I co-founded the Harvard Undergraduate Linguistics Society. In addition to etymology, I also really enjoy trivia, politics, vexillology, geography, board games, conlanging, art history, and law.