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The evolution of slang

The evolution of slang
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Language is a living thing, constantly changing to fit the circumstances. And this is a good thing! If language wasn’t adaptable we’d all still be using too many vowels and Shakespeare wouldn’t need to be studied to be understood. Sometimes, though, it can feel like it’s changing faster than we can keep up with, especially when it comes to slang words that seem to change with the seasons.

For instance, “chill” used to be a temperature or an instruction, then it became synonymous with “relaxed,” then it broadened to include meaning “cool” or “awesome,” and now, not only does it still mean all of those things but it can also mean sex, as in the case of “Netflix and chill.” (Thank you, Urban Dictionary!) Some slang words even become so popular they’re canonised as “real” words in the dictionary. Confused? Don’t worry, we got you. Here’s our list of our favourite new(ish) slang words, what they mean, and how to use them.

Yeet

Yeet
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Honestly, this word is used in so many different ways it can be hard to figure out exactly what the person saying it means. But generally it’s either a happy expression of agreement or describing throwing something far and fast – obviously, you’ll want to figure out which one they mean before getting any closer.

Tea

Tea
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Tea is gossip and “spilling the tea” is telling someone else all the juicy details.

Not a fan of gossip? Learn the one magic phrase that will stop gossip in its tracks. 

Sis

Sis
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You may use this word to refer to your literal sister, which is cool, but many people now use it to refer to any close friend or loved one, regardless of gender. It can also be used to end practically any sentence.

Curved

Curved
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Being rejected, particularly in a romantic way.

Ratioed

Ratioed
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One way to tell if someone is high quality on Twitter is the ratio of their comments to likes and retweets. Having a lot of replies but not as many likes means that people really, really don’t like what you said and you might be about to go viral – in a bad way.

Flex

Flex
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Flexing on someone is a way to one-up or prove you are better. You can do it literally, by flexing a big muscle around someone weak, but more often it’s a figurative flex. “Weird flex, but okay” refers to someone who thinks they are one-upping you but are using a really strange comparison.

On read

On read
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Nothing stings more than seeing that someone has read your text message and chosen not to reply – for hours, days, or sometimes ever. Leaving someone “on read” is an electronic diss, the same as answering someone in person with silence.

Lowkey

Lowkey
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When something is subtle or not terribly important but still important enough to bring up, you call it “lowkey.” The opposite, used less frequently, is highkey.

JOMO

JOMO
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FOMO, or the fear of missing out, is a popular term for the feeling people have when seeing everyone else living their best lives on social media. But not everyone’s an extrovert and some of us are relieved to not be invited to everything. Enter JOMO, the joy of missing out.

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