What Does "Salty" Mean?

You've heard the word with regards to food and cooking, but what does "salty" mean when discussed in a context that has nothing to do with food? According the insight of Urban Dictionary, "salty," when used as a slang term, can be used to describe someone who is "angry, agitated, or upset," as well as someone who is "mean, annoying, and repulsive." A more nuanced and specific definition of the word, which also comes from Urban Dictionary, details it as, "The act of being upset, angry, or bitter as result of being made fun of or embarassed. Also a characteristic of a person who feels out of place or is feeling attacked." So: What's the deal? Have you ever been salty? You probably have, so let's take a closer look at the word.

The meaning of "salty" in slang can be further exemplified when we analyze the lyrics of the Chief Keef song "Salty," off the 2013 album Almighty So. The song is essentially about a girl who didn't love Chief Keef before the fame, but now she wants in. He says, "I got all these racks on me now she feeling me/ she salty," implying that she's bitter about his fame and probably feeling regretful and agitated that he isn't paying attention to her anymore. He also says "million dollar house keys, get the f*ck off me/damn almighty cause I know you feel salty," which can loosely be translated as, "I have lots of cash money, u mad, bro?" Of course, salty isn't a gendered emotion, so just because Chief Keef is describing a woman to be salty in this song doesn't mean only women can be salty.

Basically, we've all been salty at one point or another in our lives. Here are four scenarios where one might experience saltiness.

1. During Class

Let's say you raise your hand in class to answer a question, but you get the answer wrong. Then, the professor calls on your arch nemesis, and he answers correctly. Though you've got a lot of respect towards him for understanding the question and knowing the answer, you can't help but feel a little salty that he was the one to supply the correct answer; it could have been anyone else, so why did it have to be your academic rival? Oftentimes saltiness stems from accepting your mistake or downfall in a situation, but resenting it nonetheless.

2. With Your Parents

When my mom is right about something I thought I was going to be right about, I can't help but feel a little salty due to the natural defensiveness and embarrassment that arises from the situation. Consider the following personal anecdote: Right before my mom bought me an Easy-Bake Oven in the third grade (please tell me you remember those), she told me I'd get sick of it quickly. Determined to prove her wrong, I showed her that I used that thing every single darn day. But she was right: I outgrew it and got sick of it and after a month. That poor oven never felt the touch of a human hand again — and I felt a little saltier for it.

3. On Public Transportation

When someone sits down on a seat you were eyeballing, you get mad salty, even though they had a right to it just as much as you did. As long as they're not manspreading, that is.

4. When You See Someone Wearing the Same Outfit As You

On the outside, you're all "Oh my god, twins! We have to take a photo!" On the inside, though, you're seething. How dare they think they could rock that on the same day as you?

Of course, while being salty every now and then is totally natural (if not expected), living salty may not be the best for you, your friends, your family, or for everyone else in your community; saltiness can come with a lot of anger, bitterness, and unhappiness, depending on the time and place. Just as we shouldn't fill our bodies with too much salt, we shouldn't fill our minds with too much of it, either.

Images: jking89/Flickr; Giphy (4)