It seems every day there’s a new term you need to know or risk getting left out of the loop.
With internet speak, it has evolved from simple terms and phrases to an alphabet soup of language abbreviations and memes.
IMO, ICYMI, TMI, TL;DR.
Twitter’s 140-character count (which recently doubled) forced users to reevaluate how they communicate. Now, there’s hundreds of acronyms for common phrases and concepts.
Of course, there’s some “traditional” slang, too.
Common slang words and slang meanings
It’s nearly impossible to keep up with modern jargon. In fact, by the time you read this, items in this list could be far outdated and replaced by new terms.
Still, some terms are pretty common and don’t seem to be going anywhere – at least for now.
- Turnt or lit: Turnt is an abbreviation for “turned up” and it refers to having fun or partying. Turnt or lit could – but not always – imply the use of alcohol or drugs.
- Trill: A combination of the words “true” and “real.” Used to describe someone as genuine.
- Salty: When someone is upset, agitated, or holding a grudge.
- Woke: Used to describe socially or politically conscious people, statements, or ideas.
- Snatched or fleek: Adjectives used to compliment someone’s looks.
- Keep it 100: When someone is being genuine or speaking an uncomfortable truth.
- Low key: A new way of saying “on the down low.” Used when you’re saying something you don’t want many people to know.
- Fam: A term of endearment for your close circle of friends.
- Dead: When someone is overcome with a particular emotion or shocked. Sometimes used as a response after a funny joke.
- GOAT: Greatest of all time.
- TFW: That feeling when…
- IMO: In my opinion…
- TL;DR: Too long; didn’t read. (Usually used to describe long Facebook comments or posts.)
- ICYMI: In case you missed it…
- FOMO: Fear of missing out.
How to avoid bad slang
If you’re wondering if you should incorporate some terms into your vocabulary, the answer is likely no.
Don’t use any words that don’t sound natural or your attempt to fit in will just make you stand out even more. Still, that doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun by throwing in a word or two every now and then.
It’s also important to watch out for bad slang. Certain words are insulting no matter what kind of context they’re used.
- THOT: “That hoe over there.” A term used to insult women.
- Thirsty: Used to describe an overly eager or sexually frustrated person.
- Trash: A derogatory term used to describe a person or group of people.
Resources to stay in the loop
Language is always changing and evolving. It’s hard to keep up, but not impossible.
No need to study your definitions because the internet provides lots of tools for cluing you in on definitions when you need them.
Urban Dictionary is the ultimate internet data base for all things slang. Users can submit terms and provide definitions. Other users can then vote on the definition’s accuracy.
Each entry provides the term and lets you know whether it’s a noun, adjective, or verb. Along with a definition, users also write the term in a sentence so you can understand how it’s used.
If you want to know what a specific word means, this is the place to go.
Know Your Meme
Language has evolved. Slang doesn’t just mean words or phrases anymore. Thanks to memes, the world has created a bunch of viral inside jokes that involve pictures with words and ideas.
Know Your Meme is a giant database for memes and the ideas behind them. Entries are organized either by name, idea, or content. Each entry lists the name of the meme along with a detailed description, definition, and all variations of the meme across the web.
The website even does their best to track down where the meme originated – a nearly impossible feat. Users may browse entries or submit their own.
NoSlang.com is a comprehensive translation website. It has several features for educating people of all ages about current trends, acronyms, and terms.
- Instant translator for converting terms and acronyms into traditional English.
- Reverse translator.
- Common terms used throughout Twitter and specific social media platforms.
- Commonly misspelled and misused words.
- Sexting terms and acronym dictionary.
- Top 25 terms parents should know.
- Drug term translator.
- Smurf translator. Because why not?
Adapting to changing language
Jargon is nothing new, but the internet has drastically changed the way we communicate. For parents, it’s important to know what some works mean to keep their children safe. For others, it’s just part of trying to feel like you’re not completely out in the cold. Just use your resources and you’ll be just fine.