I had lunch with some co-workers last week and proceeded to get schooled on a list of new vocabulary but that was just the beginning. A post on Facebook rendered dozens of comments and an email to some of my younger friends and family members produced words more foreign to me than Japanese.
So I decided I needed to do some research. While the vernacular seems ever changing and I have no doubt there are even more words and phrases I’ve missed, here’s a glossary of terms that might help us all feel a little more in the know.
Warning: I did not “bleep” the curse words.
AF: “As fuck.” As in, “I’m tired AF,” or “That girl’s tacky AF.” Also my initials. It’s kind of my favorite.
DGAF: “Don’t give a fuck.” Sometimes pronounced D-Gaf. I don’t know how you casually work that into a spoken sentence but I have no doubt it will find it’s way into my typed sentences frequently AF.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ : I mean, this is a person shrugging, right? So I guess it means DGAF? Or IDK? Maybe it’s like “whatevs!”
Bae: I guess this is the new “Boo,” which is slang for “baby,” right? Like “Hey Bae!” FYI, I read that in Dutch, “Bae” means “Poop.” (Note: This is not to be confused with “Bey” or “Queen Bey” as in Beyonce.)
BTW: BTW isn’t just an acronym for “by the way” anymore. It’s used in daily conversation but when said aloud it’s pronounced “B. T. Dubs.”
Chawl: Chill, cool, awesome. For example, “Elon Musk’s Hyperloop is going to make trips from LA to SF in 35 minutes, so chawl.”
Dafaq: Because I guess “WTF” wasn’t hip anymore.
Dank: Of good quality. “This Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon 1992 is so dank!”
Dead: High emotion. When you’ve passed the point of something being hilariously funny or intensely amazing. The stories in this video crack me up and offer a great example.
Dirty: Actually means really good. Like “Yo, that beat is DIRTY.”
Edges on fleek: I think this has something to do with your hair looking good… For whatever reason, I spent the most time researching this term and then my brain started to ooze out of my ears…
FOMO/FOMA: “Fear of missing out/action.” I might say, for example, “I can’t leave the party this early. Major FOMO.”
Gnar: A derivative of the word gnarly; intense as in “Professor Randall’s theory on dinosaur extinction is gnar.”
GTFO: “Get the fuck out,” but not, like, literally. It’s more like when you’re in disbelief. See also: STFU.
Highkey: So this either means “truth” or “something over the top.” Allow me to give a couple examples: “Highkey, man! Check out that ass!” or “Late night party in the hills. It’ll be highkey.” What a versatile adjective.
Hundo P: 100%. If someone asks “Are you hungry?” one might respond “Hundo P full from breakfast.”
I Can’t: Enough is enough so you just cannot anymore! “OMG, I can’t with that puppy. It is too cute!” Often followed by “dad” as in “OMG, I can’t. Dead.” Can also be used in conjunction with “even” as in “I can’t even.” Blogger Awesomely Luvvie often says “I’m unable to CAN” and then she invented the UNABLE TOUCAN. Genius.
IRL: “In real life.” For example, “IRL he’s totes lowkey.”
Kickback: So apparently this is like more than just hanging out but not quite a party. I think I am too old for kickbacks. Let me know when it means “nap.”
Lit: This is how this was explained to me so your guess is as good as mine — “Yoooo, this party is LIT, come thru.”
LMK: “Let me know.”
Lowkey: The opposite of highkey. Which I’m not even sure I understand.
Mass: A large amount. “You hear Marriott bought Starwood Hotels? They are about to make mass money!”
MOT: Member of the Tribe (For us Jews, I think.)
MRW: “My reaction when…” usually accompanied by a funny gif. Here’s MRW Jenny McCarthy offered her opinion about Charlie Sheen’s HIV diagnosis:
Netflix and chill: I was totally going to type “isn’t this kind of self-explanatory?” but then I looked it up on Urban Dictionary. Which I’m just gonna link y’all to cause I’m not about that life. I guess we found where I’ll draw the line.
No chill: Pretty much what you’d imagine. “Dude, you have no chill.”
On Fleek: The quality of perfection. “Your outfit is so on fleek!”
Put on blast: Getting called out for bad behavior. “She put him on blast when she learned he gave her herpes.” I actually put someone on blast at work yesterday. It was totes rewarding.
Ratchet: Look, as far as I’m concerned, this is a type of socket wrench. I don’t understand much more than that.
Same: An entire sentence in one word to echo a sentiment. Don’t say “me too,” say “SAME.”
Saucin’ on you: This one has me perplexed. Does it mean “I’m crushing on you?” Does it mean something about swag? I found several definitions during my in-depth research and came up with nothing declarative.
Shade: Apparently it’s something you metaphorically throw at someone who is disrespecting you. A derivative of one acting “shady.”
SMH: “Shaking my head” because you are straight embarrassing.
Snatched: All evidence to the contrary, this is actually a compliment. “Hey, have you seen Jim’s abs lately? He got snatched over the Summer.”
Sorry Not Sorry: A short way to say “I’m sorry but I’m actually NOT sorry.” Like when I tweeted this the other day….
Apparently the coffee I had today has made me intolerably hyper. Sorry, coworkers. #sorrynotsorry
— AJ Feuerman (@ajfeuerman) November 13, 2015
Squad: Your crew, your posse, your homies. Taylor Swift started collecting starlets to be her BFFs and suddenly everyone was all about “Squad Goals.”
STFU: “Shut the fuck up.” See also: GTFO
Supsies: A greeting. “Oh — supsies James Franco, are you performing tonight on Def Jam Poetry?” (Remember when we all shortened “Wassup?” to “Sup?” in the nineties? That.)
TBH: “To be honest….”
Tho/Doe: Just short for “though” but used to highlight a point. “That ass, tho!” “That smile, tho!” You get it.
TIL: “Today I learned….” Used less in verbal communication and more as a space-saver on Reddit and Twitter, etc.
TSIR: “The struggle is real.” So much so that we can’t even type that full out anymore. Often accompanied by a hearty SMH.
Turnt/turnt up: An exclamation of excess. “Yo, this party’s about to get TURNT!” OR excessively drunk, I think? “We’re gonna get turnt up tonight!” I’ll probably never use this word seriously.
WOE: We have Drake to thank for this one. It stands for “Working on excellence.”
WYD: “What You Doin?”
Yasssss: I especially liked the definition on Urban Dictionary: “Shit white girls say when they are extremely over excited and/or have had too many pumpkin spice lattes.”
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Oddly, I think researching and writing this post has aged me a couple years.
Special thanks to my cousins, my Facebook friends, all the youngins… you know who you are.
And now, readers, tell me: WHAT WORDS DID I MISS?