What’s the good word now?
Just like fashion, beauty or style has its seasons, language also has its trends. And believe us, nothing will make you feel more lost or irrelevant than if you’re unable to decipher what your kids are talking about. Plus, with the Oxford English Dictionary constantly adding words to the official English language, such as “cray” (crazy) and “YOLO” (you only live once), it’s only right that we keep on top of pop slang. We assume that you’re familiar with “bae”, “wtf” (or tf as it’s been further shortened to now, tf!) and “af”. So we’re focusing on what teens are using in 2019. Happy hanging with the Gen-Zs!
Yaassss (no definite number of As or Ss) is another way to say yes, but with added amounts of punch and enthusiasm. It originated from drag queen culture.
How to use it: “Yaassss, we’re so having ice cream for breakfast, lunch and dinner.”
I can’t even
Ever been so speechless that you just can’t find the words? “I can’t even” says it all! It’s commonly used when someone is feeling either overjoyed or exasperated.
How to use it: “Everything that could go wrong today actually went wrong today. I can’t even.”
This term has been around for years now but still makes its rounds. “On fleek” (you may also now see it as “fleeky”) refers to something that’s perfect or on point. So if someone says that your outfit or makeup is on fleek, accept the compliment graciously!
How to use it: “Girl, your brows are on fleek!” or “Girl, your brows are so fleeky!”
This word is fast replacing on fleek as a way of saying you look good.
How to use it: “Love what you’re wearing! You are snatched!”
This is simple. It means “good” or “fine”.
How to use it: “How’re you doing? All Gucci?“
“Exciting” or “amazing.” A word of caution though – lit has been used so extensively, it’s now becoming a bit “unlit”!
How to use it: “This is my favourite song, it’s about to be lit!” or “The concert last night was so lit!”
You know you can always count on someone on the hip-hop scene to come up with new phrases. “Turnt” (verb: turn up) was coined by Wiz Khalifa and means to party hard and go all out.
How to use it: “Are you going to the music festival this weekend? I can’t wait to get turnt.”
Ru Paul’s Drag Race fans would have heard this term many a time on the show. It’s a sassier way of saying okay in an agreeable manner or to finish a mic drop-worthy statement.
How to use it: “I haven’t had a night out in forever so I’m letting my hair down tonight and there’s nothing you can do about it, okurrr!”
How to use it: “As much as I love how this new diet is making me feel, I low key can’t wait for cheat day.”
A person who is easily offended and has an inflated sense of self. It originated in Chuck Palahniuk’s novel Fight Club.
How to use it: “Will you stop whining, you snowflake!”
Meaning “well-informed” or used to describe someone who’s aware of the current social or political climate.
How to use it: “It’s election year again next year. #StayWoke”
If you aren’t very woke, you could have been “sleeping on” many things. Don’t worry if you don’t get it! Ellen Degeneres initially didn’t either when American ice skater Adam Rippon used it to describe how he had not noticed before how cute Shawn Mendes actually was.
How to use it: “I was sleeping on how awesome Tseung Kwan O is.”
Originating from Eminem’s iconic song of the same name, “stan” is the term used for the obsessive fans of a popular celebrity. It can also be used as a verb.
How to use it: “I’m a Beyoncé stan.” or “I will stan Beyoncé forever!”
This is a statement of approval, usually about something that has been done by a group of people or something that is aspired to.
How to use it: “My friends and I have started a weight loss challenge. #SquadGoals“
If you see someone commenting, “Slay, mama!” on your latest Instagram post, don’t freak out – it’s a compliment! The word’s additional meaning has been added to the Oxford dictionary and defined as to “be extremely impressive, stylish, or successful“.
How to use it: “Wow, you are really slaying in those shoes!”
Expressing approval (usually when you are surprised).
How to use it: “You finished your assignment already? Damn, Gina!”
Greatest of all time. Used for sportspersons.
How to use it: “Did you watch the match? He really is the GOAT!”
Meaning gossip, scoop or news, “tea” is not just your average afternoon beverage anymore.
How to use it: “So what happened last week? Spill the tea.”
Desperate, usually for attention.
How to use it: “Be careful not to post too many selfies on the same day, or you’re gonna end up looking thirsty.”
Bitter or upset.
How to use it: “Did my toddler really just roll her eyes at me? She must be salty that I ate the last doughnut.”
Diss someone. The person who does the trash-talking is the uncool one here, not the subject. Also used as throwing shade or being shady.
How to use it: “Boss was totally throwing shade at you during our meeting today.”
Surprised or shocked.
How to use it: “Omg, I can’t believe I managed to cook tonight and be in bed before 9! I’m shook!”
This word, like in traditional dictionaries, means to do something without mercy. In the cyber world though, it is used hyperbolically, especially when it comes celebrity feuds or trolling.
How to use it: “She took on all the cyberbullies singlehandedly. Her response was savage!”
FOMO / JOMO
Fear Of Missing Out (like the dog above!) /Joy Of Missing Out.
How to use it: “I couldn’t make it to Clockenflap and had major FOMO.” or “The hubby has taken the kids to the park and I’ve finally got some me-time. Ah! JOMO!”
Thankfully, in your kid’s dictionary, this has a less morbid meaning than it does in traditional dictionaries. Use it when something is ridiculously good or funny.
How to use it: “Did you watch Ali Wong and Randall Park in Always Be My Maybe? I’m dead.”
Thank you, Next
When something was useful but has now passed. It was used by Ariana Grande in her song with the same title.
How to use it (In Ariana Grande’s words): “I’ve loved and I’ve lost, But that’s not what I see. So, look what I got, Look what you taught me. And for that, I say, Thank U, Next.”
Editor’s note: This post was originally written by Syazana Hishamuddin on 9, July 2018 and updated by Anita Balagopalan on 25, September 2019.