Don't get me wrong — there are pleeeeenty remnants of '90s slang that are still relevant today. I'm all about a well-timed "holla!" or using "da bomb" ironically-but-not-really. Alas, though, there are also certain pieces of '90s slang that should never, ever come back. Ya hear that, '90s renaissance? As we methodically bring back every single nostalgic thing about the '90s, there are some terms and expressions that would do better to stay buried along with scrunchies and comically copious amounts of body glitter.
Some of the phrases still make sense; that's not necessarily the problem, although admittedly, there are a few that have simply been rendered obsolete by the passing of time and the emergence of new technology. However, there's also the matter of slang which is actually kind of offensive. We were young back then, after all — perhaps we simply weren't aware of the capacity our words had to inflict hurt. But when the trendy expressions marginalize people's pain or trivialize very really problems in our society, well, they've got to go.
We held the following 10 slang words and phrases near and dear to our hearts in the '90s, and now it's time to let them go for good like Rose did when she released Jack Dawson's icy clutch.
1. Wife Beater
So, yeah, this was a thing. Wait, HOW WAS THIS A THING? When a piece of clothing is referred to in the common vernacular as someone who commits violence against women, you know you've got a problem.
2. All That and a Bag of Chips
Le sigh — I'll be the first to admit that I thought this expression was, you know, all that and a bag of chips in the '90s. But, if we're really being honest, it just sounds silly now, right? To be clear, it sounded silly back then, too; we just didn't know any better.
3. Raise the Roof
Outside of my great aunt when she's had too many moonshine cherries at family reunions, no one actually raises the roof anymore. When it comes to outdated phrases (and accompanying gestures), this bad boy takes the cake.
Sorry, Beavis and Butthead! Fart-knocker is by far one of the grossest slang insults to come out of the '90s. If you're feeling pretty embarrassed you ever slung this at someone when you couldn't come up with a more clever snub, you're not alone.
5. Eat My Shorts
Hey, just because you and I still find this Bart Simpson-coined expression funny doesn't mean anyone else will. Sure, fellow '90s kids will understand the allusion — but everyone else will wonder why in the world you just told someone to eat an article of your clothing. Bart, you do you tho.
6. Going Postal
You guys, this expression was inappropriate from the onset — it emerged shortly after a series of workplace rage incidents involving postal workers in the '80s and '90s that resulted in countless senseless deaths. I think we can all agree that isn't something to be trivialized, right? (I mean, right?!)
For the love of all things holy, what were we even thinking with this one? Listen, the vagina is pretty darn amazing. It's the best, in fact. It's only natural that it is revered, which means it gets a lot of nicknames. But punani? Really? Nope. Nopety nope nope. #NeverAgain.
8. How's It Hangin'?
This is one of those seemingly innocuous '90s phrases that is actually incredibly disgusting. According to The Online Slang Dictionary, asking someone this basically meant you were asking how their, ahem, hairy boys were swinging. Yep. Let's be done with this now. The state of someone's genitals is nobody else's business but theirs.
Aside from the fact that using the pejorative "b*tch" in any form is a rather insidious sexist microaggression, the slang "beeotch" is just straight-up played out. To recap, it's insulting and old. Onto the next!
10. Hasta La Vista, Baby
It is with great sadness, '90s kids, that we must leave this expression behind. The man who first uttered it went from action star to the governor of California and back again, making him somewhat mythic in our books. This iconic phrase is all but lost on newer generations, though (for shame, I know). Having said that, hell yes I'll still be reppin' it on the regular. Don't hate; you don't know me.
Images: Orion Pictures; Giphy