"New Slang I Do Not Get" Twitter Hashtag Highlights The Ridiculousness Of Modern Slang


As a writer, I've always had an appreciation for a solid grasp of the English language, so when people started saying "bae" in everyday conversation, something inside of me shriveled up and died. Apparently, I'm not the only one who cringes at the use of modern-day slang: There's a "New Slang I Do Not Get" Twitter hashtag circulating, with tweeters sharing the pieces of today's slang which perplex (or maybe enrage) them the most. Naturally, I'm overjoyed.

It looks like the hashtag was initiated by @FirstAndMonday — a sports, humor, and music shop, as well as the host of Hashin' With FAM, every Friday morning on @HashtagRoundup. Sifting through the tweets had my face hurting from laughing. I don't think I realized that other people were as dumbfounded as I am by the fake words people randomly create. I like to look at it like this: If you were applying for a job, would you say that your managerial skills are totes on fleek? No? OK. I mean, yes, it's true that language evolves over time... but there's something about the arbitrary selection of a random sequence of letters to mean something so important that just kind of rubs me the wrong way. Maybe that's just me, but, well... do with that what you will.

There is plenty of ridiculous slang to choose from populating the hashtag, so do go and peruse it at your leisure; for the curious, thought, here are some of the more popular ones, plus what tweeters using #NewSlangIDoNotGet think about them. I... I just... I can't even.

1. "Bye, Felicia"

We have Ice Cube to thank for this one. In the 1995 movie Friday, Felicia wants to borrow a car. Smokey (Chris Tucker) says no. Then she wants to borrow a joint. Once again, Smokey says no. Jones (Cube) finally dismisses her with, "Bye, Felicia." Do you know how many people realize they're referencing that movie? Very, very few.

2. "I Can't Even"

People use this when something is so cute/funny/weird/whatever that they can't even find the words to describe it. Except they could find the words: "I can't even." However, some argue that there's an actual Greek word to describe this, giving it some validity. "Aposiopesis" refers to stopping mid-sentence due to being too overcome to finish. Maybe we'll let this one slide.

3. "Slay"

When someone "slays," they totally crush it, or do amazingly well. Beyonce is a huge fan of this one, and she uses it repeatedly in her newer song "Formation." Alas, no dragons are involved.

4. "Throw Shade"

When you throw shade at someone, you speak negatively of or disrespect them in some way, sometimes publicly. Think of Beyonce giving the side-eye to someone flirting with Jay Z. I never really felt like throwing shade was a bad thing. I live in Las Vegas. When someone throws you shade, you say thank you, because it's really sunny here all the time.

5. "Netflix and Chill"

At first, this sounds like a really fun night. There's always something good playing on Netflix, and I love to get my chill on, because I work a lot and I'm always tired — except "Netflix and chill" has a somewhat hidden meaning, so if someone asks you to come over for Netflix and chill, they might have something other than a movie marathon in mind.

6. "Turnt"

The first time I saw this one, I thought it was a typo. It turns out (or maybe... it turnt out?) that "turnt up" can mean either being drunk/high, or a state in which all five senses are completely stimulated and you feel amazing.

7. "On Fleek"

Urban Dictionary listed the term "fleek" as early as 2003. Based on their definition, "on fleek" means smooth or nice. Apparently, saying "smooth" or "nice" doesn't suffice, so people have resorted to "on fleek," since it makes... absolutely... no sense... at all.

8. "YOLO"

Drake made "YOLO" the most popular acronym of 2011, inspiring scads and scads of people to use the abbreviated form of "you only live once" when discussing taking risks or enjoying life. "Skydiving? Sure. YOLO." I, however, believe that we live several lives, so I do not use YOLO. But that's another story entirely.

9. "Cray Cray"

I understand the use of certain slang terms to help abbreviate long words or phrases; this is not one of those instances. "Cray" supposedly came from a song by Will Smith and Denzel Washington (huh?!). As for who decided you needed to say it twice to get your point across? You got me.

10. "SMH"

The only thing I'm shaking my head at is the fact that you just texted me "SMH."

11. "Totes Amazeballs"

Why. First of all, "amazeballs" is completely awkward to say. Second, are you really that busy that you can't be bothered to say "totally amazing?" We're finished here.