When it comes to keeping up with millennial slang, the struggle is real. Here are 24 words and phrases that you might need defined.
This incorrect tense of "awake" is used in the phrase "stay woke" as well as to describe whether someone is paying attention to political and social events or aware of certain truths. For example, a man conscious of the glass ceiling and gender pay gap for women is "woke." "Get woke" can be used as an admonishment for someone who is ignorant and needs to educate himself properly about a topic.
First introduced into the lexicon in 2016 by rapper Birdman during rap radio show "The Breakfast Club," "respek" is a slang spelling of the word "respect." It can be used alone or as part of Birdman's original usage in the phrase "put some respek on my name," meaning to show someone respect.
This verb means that a millennial is engaging in an activity or behavior that involves responsibility or decision-making that is usually taken care of by fully developed adults. Paying your rent, getting your oil changed, going to the dentist and other such accomplishments fall under the parameter of "adulting."
Predominantly used in the past tense, "canceled" is used to describe someone or something that you've rejected, deleted or cut out of your life. For example, your friend could ask you if you are still dating someone, to which you could reply, "No, they're canceled."
"Low-key" is used as an adjective to describe something you're doing on the down-low, understatedly or secretly. You might confess to low-key loving Justin Bieber's new song or low-key using Tinder. It can also have a vaguer meaning of "sort of" or "kind of," such as being low-key sad that you're out of ice cream. The opposite of low-key is "high-key," meaning to be unabashedly vocal about something.
Like many popular millennial terms, "snatched" was borrowed from the LGBT and drag communities. As an adjective, snatched is used to mean "perfect" or "on point," usually to describe hair, makeup, someone's body. Snatched can also be used as a verb that means "to slay someone so hard, their weave flies off into the distance," per Urban Dictionary. So a millennial might say "Beyonce snatched me with her Coachella set," meaning it blew them away so much that if they had been wearing a wig, it would have gone flying.
A past tense form of "shake," "shook" is used like "shaken," meaning rocked, dislodged or trembled, but refers to an emotional rather than physical state. To be shook is to be surprised, shocked or scared.
"Keep it 100," with the number often being replaced by the 100 emoji, is synonymous with "keep it real." Keep it 100 can also refer to staying true to yourself and your values, respecting others and acting with integrity, keeping things above board if you will.
Draking is the verb form of the name of popular rapper Drake, whose lyrics are known for being emotional, revealing his anxieties and insecurities. Behavior such as calling or texting an ex late at night or being sad or nostalgic about past relationships would be examples of draking. Someone who is constantly draking and caught up in feelings is known as a "sad boi."
While used by the general public to describe the principles or ideas about beauty and style of a particular period, place or person, to millenials, "aesthetic" is used much more simply as a synonym for "vibe," "artistic" or "beautiful." A picture, person, song or video can be "aesthetic," usually accompanied by the modifier "af," which means "as (bleep)."
"Thirst" or "being thirsty" is a way to describe lusting after someone, usually desperately. This slang birthed another phrase, "thirst trap," used to describe photos a person posts on social media. A thirst trap is a photo that people post with either the obvious or subtle intention of getting others to lust after them and post comments that boost their ego.
"Blessed" can still be genuinely used by millennials to mean "divinely or supremely favored," but it's often meant tongue-in-cheek or ironically on social media to dramatically denote anything good or positive that happens. One can be #blessed, verbalized as "hashtag blessed," by a good hair day or an aesthetic piece of avocado toast or sarcastically blessed by a broken zipper or forgetting your lunch.
Short for "feelings," "feels" are generally intense emotions that are overpowering, so something that "gives you all the feels" is overwhelming you with emotions, both good and bad. To get "hit right in the feels" means to be incapacitated by the emotions something makes you feel.
When you "grow up" but have an unbelievable, Ugly Duckling-like transformation, you "glow up." "Glow up" can refer to both the bodily changes of puberty as well as someone's drastic style evolution. Celebrities who have "glowed up" include Matthew Lewis from the "Harry Potter" films, Jonah Hill and Kylie Jenner.
"It me" is a short, fast way of saying, "This represents exactly how I feel." This can even be shortened to just "me." For example, a millennial can point to a lazy cat and say "it me," or send a gif of a clumsy penguin with the caption "me."
While Gucci is the trademarked name of a luxury Italian fashion company, among millennials the word isn't used to refer to handbags. Instead "gucci" in slang is a synonym for cool, good, fine or OK, so if something is "all gucci," it's "all good."
Whether or not it's written in all caps, millenials know GOAT is is actually an acronym for "Greatest of All Time." The term originated in the sports world, where it was used as early as the 1900s, initially as a shortened form of "scapegoat." According to Grammarphobia, the first usage meaning "greatest" was in 1992 in reference to Muhammad Ali. The music world soon caught on, with LL Cool J leading the charge in 2000. The term then trickled down from rappers and hip-hop artists to teens.
Used in texting or on social media, "v" is simply a shortened form of "very." Millennials can be "v excited" about a "v cute" photo you took. V's cousin is "p," which is used as shorthand for "pretty," as in "p excited" or "p cute."
Meaning "very good" or "on point," "on fleek" was coined on Instagram specifically to describe someone's snatched, well-groomed eyebrows. Nowadays, one's outfit, car or report card could all be described as "on fleek."
Shorten for swollen, "swol" is both an adjective and a noun referring to getting buff and muscular at the gym. One can be swol or get swol.
"Do it for the views" is an expression used to explain or encourage doing something rash for entertainment purposes. The phrase originated with "do it for the Vine," but after the video app shuttered, the phrase has evolved to refer to YouTube or Instagram with the variation, "do it for the 'gram," which justifies taking absurd pictures, visiting extreme locations or dropping money on luxury items or experiences for the purposes of bragging through a photo on social media.
This phrase, now used as a complete sentence, is used when you're overwhelmed by your reaction to something, so much so that you can no longer think, breathe, articulate your emotions, etc. It can be used positively, such as in reaction to a cute dog, or negatively, as a reaction to something offensive or disgusting.
"Sus," short for suspect or suspicious, is used when someone is acting unusual, fishy or shady.
To millennials, the word "literally" is used to mean the complete opposite of its standard definition. While literally usually means actually rather than figuratively, millennials purposefully misuse this word in phrases such as "literally dying" or "literally the worst" for dramatic effect.
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"Respek" was not introduced into the lexicon in 2016 by Birdman (jfc). Sacha Baron Cohen as Ali G did in like 2004. People were saying it long before, but he's definitely the main reason why "millennials" have been saying it. Who even wrote this article...
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