Before you get too indignant about the loss of real language and the rise of textspeak and slang, keep in mind that you, too, used slang, much to the chagrin of your elders. Yes -- slang has been around forever. Need some reminders? If you are of a certain age, some or all of these may sound familiar:
- Gas. As in, ‘Isn't he a gas’?
- Made in the shade. Someone who had it easy or who had it all together had it ‘made in the shade.’
- Peepers. Got a set of beautiful peepers? Sounds a little creepy these days, but "Jeepers creepers, where'd you get those peepers?"
- Square. Man, what an insult! Nobody wanted to be accused of being a square.
- Drip. Similarly, you didn't want to be totally uncool, or a total drip.
- Duck butt. A greaser hair cut that was slick and combed in the back to meet in the middle. Great visual, that one.
New slang is a byproduct of every generation. And while you probably don't want to be that older person who tries to talk like someone half their age, it's nevertheless helpful to at least understand what your younger family members or colleagues are talking about.
So, how about a very brief overview of slang used by millennials, the generation born between 1981 and 1996?
- Ghosting. Popular in online dating vernacular, ghosting can happen most anywhere and involves abruptly cutting off communication without warning (or common courtesy).
- Slay. No, it's not violent, though it does mean you killed it -- whether your outfit slayed, your hair, or you slayed your job interview.
- Extra. Over the top, but in a way that's trying too hard.
- Bae. Whether a boyfriend/girlfriend or best friend (or maybe even coffee), bae is short for "before anyone else."
- Shook. Usually, in disbelief. “O Boy, I’m shook”.
- Throw shade. To insult someone, usually in a subtle-not-subtle way.
- Basic. Someone who's pretty mainstream and only into popular culture.