What Does That Mean? The 2018 Guide to Internet Slang
The world of internet slang can be difficult to navigate, even for those who grew up with instant messenger and texting. It can seem like there are new abbreviations being generated everyday, or entirely new words borne of some viral trend that are mysteries to everyone but the internet’s most dedicated users. Luckily for you, I’ve developed a handy guide of all of the most popular and current internet slang, along with explanations and examples for how to use each of the acronyms, words and phrases. With this list to refer to, you’ll never be mocked by your more internet savvy friends or family members again!
The Most Common Acronyms:
AF: As F*ck. For example, "I’m tired AF."
BRB: Be Right Back! For example, "Mom is coming. BRB!"
GTG: Got To Go (note that G2G is a common substitute). For example, "GTG, mom says it’s bed time."
HMU: Hit me up! For example, "HMU for coffee tomorrow."
IMO: In My Opinion. For example, "IMO, acronyms can be confusing."
SMH: Shaking My Head. For example, "He said what? SMH."
WTF: What The F*ck? For example, "WTF? Why is internet slang so weird?"
WTH: What The Hell? For example, "WTH does 'yeet' even mean?"
Less Commonly Used Acronyms:
BAE: Before Anyone Else. BAE is a term of endearment that one might use for their significant other or a close friend. For example "You’re my Bae, Jessica."
DM: Direct Message. DMs are used predominantly on Instagram and Twitter. For example, "DM me on Instagram if you want to chat."
IMHO: In My Humble Opinion. Can be substituted for IMO. For example, "IMHO, calling yourself humble is actually the opposite of what a humble person would do."
OTP: One True Pairing. This refers to a romantic couple that you admire or think are perfect together. For example, "Sherlock and John are my OTP. They’re so cute together!"
TTYL: Talk To You Later! For example, "Going to eat lunch now. TTYL!"
The Most Popular Words and Phrases:
Burn: To insult someone, usually in a comedic sort of way. For example, "She told me I was a waste of oxygen. What a burn!"
Dab: A kind of dance move, in which one arm is extended to the side and the other is bent in front of the face. Dabbing is generally associated with preteens/early teenagers but has been adopted ironically by older teens and young adults too. For example, "Yo, did he just dab? I can’t tell if he’s being ironic or if he’s a looser."
Extra: To be extra is to be dramatic and over the top. For example, "That tantrum that she pulled was so extra."
Fam: A very good friend, to the point where you’d consider them family. For example, "Want to go see a movie tomorrow, fam?"
Finna: The abbreviated form of 'fixing to,' which essential means 'going to.' For example, "I’m finna go out with the girls tonight!"
Goals: If someone is 'goals' they’re what you aspire to be. For example, "Ugh, she’s so pretty. Total goals!"
High key: Blatantly or obviously. For example, "I high key love internet slang."
Lit: A generally positive term that can mean something is fun, exciting, cool or funny. For example, "This party is lit!"
Low key: The opposite of high key; subtly or not obviously. For example, "I’m low key angry with her right now."
Roast: Like a burn, but more intense. For example, "She roasted me so hard today."
Salty: To be upset or annoyed over something petty. For example, "He was so salty when I stole his candy bar."
Savage: A savage is someone who burns or roasts (insults) people without worrying about the consequences. It can be used as a noun or an adjective. For example, "He burned me so hard before. He’s a savage," or "That was a savage burn, dude."
Ship: To wish two people were in a romantic relationship together. For example, "I ship you two so much."
Ship name: A mish-mash of the names of two people in a couple. Popular ship names include Johnlock (John Watson and Sherlock Holmes), Brangelina (Brad Pitt and Angelia Jolie), and Phan (Phil Lester and Daniel Howell). For example, "If Paul and Jessica got together, their ship name would be Paussica."
Stan: To stan someone is to look up to or idolise them and the work they do or the content they produce. It can also be used as a noun to describe obsessive or crazy fans. For example, "I stan that actor," or "That actor has so many stans. It’s insane."
Thot: Thot initially began as a somewhat offensive acronym, meaning "That Wh*re Over There." However, more recently it’s come to be used as a word of its own instead, although much of its initial meaning is retained. For example, "Ugh, she’s such a thot."
Woke: Someone who’s woke is hyper-aware of current social issues and news and is generally politically engaged. For example, "Yeah, she’s totally woke. She went to a protest about DACA yesterday and we talked about voter fraud this morning."
Less Popular Words and Phrases:
Doggo/Pupper: a cute way of saying dog. For example, "Your doggo is so cute!"
Hunty: like the endearing term 'honey,' but generally used in a negative or condescending way. For example, "Hunty, don’t look at me and my friends like that."
On fleek: When something is 'on point' or perfect. For example, "Your outfit is on fleek!"
Sus: Sus is a shortened form of suspect and can mean shady, dodgy or generally suspicious activity. For example, "I think that guy is a drug dealer or something. He’s super sus."
Slide into the DMs: To DM (direct message) someone on Instagram or twitter, typically with sexual or otherwise sleazy intentions. For example, "He totally tried to slide into my DMs last night. What a creep!"
I’m shook: If you’re surprised or shaken by something. For example, "Did you hear they broke up? I’m totally shook!"
Wig: Wig is a shortened version of the saying "wig snatched," which means that something is so exciting or shocking that your hypothetical wig literally flies off. Wig can be used as an alternative for 'shook.' For example, "He just asked me out! Wig!"
References to Viral Videos:
Yeet: In the video that the revolutionary word 'yeet' comes from, a girl is handed a soda can and, upon realising that it’s empty, throws it down a hall of crowded people and shouts "YEET." The exact meaning of Yeet is difficult to pinpoint, but it’s something like a declaration of excitement. It’s generally used with a particular inflection that’s difficult to pin down unless you’ve watched the original video. For example, "I aced that test! YEET!"
Dab on the haters: This phrase pays homage to Youtuber Jake Paul, who encourages his young audience to dab on people who try to criticise them. It’s generally used ironically by everyone but Jake Paul’s audience. For example, "If someone tries to tell you what do do, just ignore them! Dab on those haters!"
Eyebrows on fleek: To have perfectly drawn or plucked eyebrows. This phrase is starting to loose popularity and comes from a 2014 viral video. For example, "Damn girl, your eyebrows are on fleek!"
Would you consider yourself well-versed in internet slang?
And there we have it, the most popular current internet acronyms, slang words and viral video references. This article is regularly updated with the new trends but be warned, because in this digital age entirely new words can sometimes appear overnight. It can be impossible to stay ahead of the game, so don’t feel ashamed to whip out your phone or laptop to google something you’ve never heard before. You’re not any less of a person just because you don’t understand what "Yeet! I'm finna get my eyebrows fleeked with my fam and then go slide into my bae’s DMs" means.
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© 2018 K S Lane