Listen up, baes: we decode 10 essential millennial slang phrases that’ll have you on fleek
Just like fashion, beauty or style has its seasons, language has its trends. And believe us mamas, nothing will make you feel more lost or irrelevant than if you’re unable to decipher what millennials are talking about (or texting about, more likely). New slang terms come up every so often and we need to keep up to know what the kiddos are saying! Plus, with the Oxford Dictionary adding in terms like “cray” (short for ‘crazy’) and “YOLO” (the acronym for ‘You Only Live Once’) to the official English language, it’s only right that we keep on top of pop slang. With the help of our oh-so-hip 20-something colleagues Liyana and Syazana, we’ve decoded the millennial slang you’ll want to start using asap, mama! (Bonus tip: acronyms aren’t usually typed in all caps anymore.)
Yaassss (also: Yas Queen!)
Yaassss (no definite number of a’s or s’s) is another way to say yes, but with added amounts of punch and enthusiasm. It’s mostly used to support a thought, comment or to agree on a statement, and originated from drag queen culture. “Yas Queen!” is also the catch-phrase of kooky 20-something Ilana on the excellent and hysterical show Broad City (to the point that Hillary Clinton made a cameo to utter it herself!).
How to use it: “Yaassss, we’re so having ice cream for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Yaassss!”
I can’t even
Ever been so speechless that you just can’t find the words? “I can’t even” is an expression commonly used when someone is feeling either so overjoyed or exasperated that they can’t even find the right words; depending on the context. May also be accompanied by collapsing in total exasperation. Tyler Oakley (pictured above) may be the master of can’t evening.
How to use it: “OMG did you see how cute those shoes were? And their ridiculous sale markdown? I can’t even.”
Sorry not sorry
“Sorry not sorry” is a phrase used when you’re not really sorry or apologetic for a mistake that someone thinks you’re making. In actual fact, you don’t even think you should be apologising, but do it anyway. The term is often used as a hashtag too on social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram.
How to use it: “Don’t hate on me because I’m too sassy for you. #sorrynotsorry.”
“On fleek” refers to something that’s perfect or ‘on point’. So if someone says that you’re ‘on fleek’, accept the compliment graciously! Somehow, the term is often used for one’s eyebrows.
How to use it: “Girl, your eyebrows are on fleek!”
As if we’re not lazy enough, we have to shorten all our words into acronyms. TBH is short for “to be honest” and is usually used before a comment or a joke.
How to use it: “I think that skirt looks awful on you tbh.”
Bae means “before anyone else,” and usually refers to a significant other and could be argued as a term shortened from ‘babe’. These days, girls have been using this term to describe their close gal pals, too. Or really anything that you hold near and dear to your heart (a glass of wine, a sandwich, your iPad, what have you).
How to use it: “My baes are the best! #mybaesarebetterthanyours.” or “Pizza is bae.”
You know you can always count on someone in the hip-hop scene to come up with cool phrases. “Turnt Up” (or sometimes abbreviated to just ‘turnt’) was coined by Wiz Khalifa and literally means to party hard and go all out.
How to use it: “We’re going to the club and getting turnt tonight!”
AF is an acronym for “as f*ck”. Often used as an adjective to emphasise and exaggerate a statement.
How to use it: “Beyonce was slaying af at her concert.”
Another acronym on this list, NSFW stands for Not Safe For Work.
How to use it: “Don’t watch this video here, it’s NSFW.”
What name do you use to describe your group of friends that you hang with? Stop using clique (because that’s so passe) and switch it up to squad. Popularised by Taylor Swift after this video (though the term’s been around in hip hop forever). See also: #squadgoals (such as the mamas above, obvs).
How to use it: “My squad and I are hanging out tonight.”