Life's going to be different now
As the “in” generation, we’re doing our best to keep things pretty darn cool. This, especially, applies to everyday language. Linguistics is constantly evolving and millennials (and Gen Zs—we see you too, boo) are at the forefront of this change. It’s easy for plenty of dialogue to get lost in translation if you’re not in with the shifting times. So consider this your guide to the lingo that’ll keep you young at heart and own your conversations.
Anything to do with excess or drama (mostly unnecessarily).
“Mariah Carey is so extra that she wants to be carried around the stage during her performance.”
Evidence of someone’s bluff.
“My boyfriend lied about cheating, so I showed him the receipts.”
Highlighting something that is relatable.
“Zendaya walking the Tommy Hilfiger show is one big mood!’’
A person’s make-up look (that is, said as a compliment and originated from the drag community).
“Her beat face for fashion week was a hit on Instagram.”
To describe something fab as an adjective.
“Emma Watson snatched my attention!”
The acronym for “big d*ck energy” means alluring confidence without arrogance.
“Sophie Turner cancelled the plastic cap challenge with a lot of BDE.”
This is when someone thinks the world revolves around them.
“Twitter can get you into arguments with people that’s pretty gassed up, so don’t try to please them.”
When someone leaves your life without closure.
“Her very first boyfriend ghosted her on her birthday—what an awful move!”
Something that brings out strong emotions.
“I was triggered when Blake Lively showed up in a neon power suit. #NeonLovers”
10. Humble Brag
When someone complains about their life while sneaking in a brag.
“I’m sick of FB updates where people complain about mud getting on their Gucci’s and Prada’s. Maybe people should invest their time in cleaning their stuff than humble bragging about it.”
11. @ me
A renewed version of “fight me” (and on Instagram, it means to mention someone).
“If you miss out on the movie tickets this time, don’t @ me as it’s your fault for not getting them on time.”
12. My TED Talk
This is a lengthy rant on a less serious topic
“…she ended her Insta stories saying, ‘Thank you for coming to my TED talk on approaching our crushes!’”
An alternative phrase for “this is so me”, and is associated with strong feelings.
“I felt attacked when the lecturer went on about people who turn up late.”
14. Throwing shade
Making a mean move in a subtle way.
“Michelle Obama’s reaction to Melania Trump’s Tiffany gift was full of shade.”
“When Naomi Campbell was asked about Kendall Jenner being the highest paid model, she responded with: ‘Next question!’—isn’t she the queen of shade?”
Saying something is really cool.
“My BFF and I spent the last weekend exchanging dank Stranger Things memes.”
A punchline or a joke.
“The wedding ceremony went well except for the gag about the groom forgetting to iron his clothes.”
Being excited about something!
“I won free tickets to the premiere, yeet!”
This is “in case you missed it!” And is used when posting something that’s not new.
“ICYMI: Chrissy Teigen and John Legend were on a Twitter fight with POTUS.”
It stands for “No F*cking Way.”
“I’m not going to that dinner, NFW!”
That means “Not Safe For Work” and is used for content that cannot be view at work.
“NSFW: Fifty Shades of Grey review (with pictures).”
Someone who is well-built and muscular.
“Her summer fling is definitely a good catch. He’s swol!”
22. Can’t even
When explaining something you can’t handle.
“My housemate keeps falling in the garden and blames me. I can’t even!”
“Shaking My Head”—when someone does something stupid, and no words can explain how you feel.
Person A: “Did your friend get back with her boyfriend, again?”
Person B: “Yup! SMH”
Related to a higher class.
“Everything at the XYZ fashion boutique is over Rs. 20,000, and I need none of those bougie clothes.”
To reject something or dismiss someone.
“The bloggers of the town cancelled on an entrepreneur who body-shamed a reporter.”
It directly translates to “I swear” and means that you’re genuine about something. (PS: This was invented by the Kardashians.)
“This is the best café in the town. Bible!”
27. Keep it 100
Basically means to keep it real.
“My mom has always kept it 100 with anyone she has met.”
An acronym for Open Crib, it signals that parents are not at home, so it’s time to party.
“I have an OC during the long weekend, so come over, babe!”
This stands for “You Know The Vibes” and is used to agree to a mutual feeling.
“Going to the hills this weekend and going to be doing absolutely nothing, YKTV.
It refers to an attractive person.
“That lady’s a dime!”
31. Damn, Gina
Expressing approval or surprised by something.
“Damn, Gina! Nice work on the presentation.”
The most responsible one in a squad.
“Sonia was an absolute mom at the farewell party.”
Being blunt and out in the open.
“Her approach to meeting my parents will be high-key; she will hide nothing.”
Joy of missing out.
“I focus on JOMO rather than FOMO!”
Short form for “very”.
“The movie was v impressive!”
Used to express something so amusing or ridiculously good it’s causing you to deliberately exaggerate.
“Listen to her sing! I’m dead!”
A name used to call your partner, a fling or hot guy.
“No daddy jokes here, please.”
Someone who looks great at the moment.
“My ex looked like a snack at the New Year’s Eve party last night.”
A combination of the words “stalking” and “fan”. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, it also describes “an overzealous or obsessive fan of a particular celebrity.” Quite possibly originating from Eminem’s track, Stan.
“Bella Hadid has gone blonde and I stan it!
40. Here for it
Showing support (especially on a controversial topic).
“Looks like Miley and Kaitlyn Carter are dating, and I’m here for it!”
41. Skinny Legend
Someone with indescribable capability.
“Alicia Keys’ every concert is spectacular in terms of both vocals and choreography — she’s truly a skinny legend!
These are the juicy deets of a story or gossip.
“We met just so she can spill the tea on the latest cheating scandal in town…”
The people who follow you back on social media.
“My mutuals have always cheered me up on my weight loss journey.”
The people who don’t know millennial things (like this glossary list).
“The locals need to stop using #MeToo without knowing how it originated.”
Being witty, coarse and funny; often used in relation to bitter behaviour or being upset.
“He was salty with his best friend for stealing his girlfriend.”
Often used in relation to desperately wanting approval or validation.
“She was thirsty from the beginning of the date, and it instantly turned me off.”
Being accepting of a social issue.
“Despite everything they have done for the community, they aren’t woke enough about animal rights.”
48. Bye, Felicia
Used to dismiss someone in a sassy way.
“When he found out his girlfriend cheated on him, he said ‘Bye, Felicia’ and moved on.”
An abbreviation for “The Feeling When”.
“TFW your toe knocks something, urgh.”
A double meaning indicating either a party or to share gossip.
“Kiki over tea?”
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