New Slang That Makes Me Feel Old (And What It Means)

I officially knew I was not cool anymore the first time I heard the phrase “on fleek.”  Although I’m certain my coolness status flew out the window years ago, I like to think I’m usually on top of trends, or at least aware of their meaning. But that fateful day when I read the caption “eyebrows on fleek,” I knew without a doubt that my time using slang (or rather, pulling it off) had come to an end. I can feel my 23-year-old brother rolling his eyes from here.

There’s a scene in the most recent episode of Showtime’s Affair, where a 40-something woman yells to a loud bar full of college students, “Hey Millennials!! What does FOMO mean?” It about sums up how I’m starting to feel when I see some of the new nonsense being thrown around.

So naturally, I thought it would be a good idea to break down a few that have surfaced recently so that you can decide for yourself whether you want to try and slide them into your vernacular, or watch wistfully as younger, hipper people use them with ease. At the very least you’ll know what all the cool tweens are saying. So here is some new (ish) slang that makes me feel old, and what they actually mean. (Bonus: If you’re short on conversation topics at family gatherings this holiday season, you can try teaching some of these to your grandpa—and suddenly feel young and spry again.)

1. “Tea”

Here’s a fun new word for gossip or the scoop on something. And by fun I mean totally confusing if you are a 32-year-old woman trying to sprinkle it in without warning to your friends. Here is what I said that made everyone assume I was drunk: “Guys, did you hear the tea about Gwen and Blake?”

2. “Extra”

To me, this is sort of a synonym with thirsty, but that alone may show my ignorance. The definition of extra is anyone or anything that’s excessive or trying too hard. Here’s how to use it if you see me wearing that new hot pink lipstick I should return: “Lyns, stop being so extra.”

3. “OTP”

I can get down with this one. It stands for One True Pairing and it’s basically the couple that you think is the perfect couple (see: the term “ship” below). In a sentence: Mindy Lahiri + Danny Castellano = OTP.

4. “Snatched”

Of course there is an update to “on fleek.” Do you see how that happened? We haven’t even published this piece and my intro is already outdated. In a nutshell, if it looks good it’s snatched.

5. “Ship”

I hate this one so much, but at least it sort of makes sense. It basically is short for relationship, except it can be also be used as a verb for endorsing two people pairing off romantically. An example sentence that I will never be able to pull off: “I ship Felicity and Noel so hard.”

6. “Kringled”

Apparently this is when someone gets something they don’t deserve or didn’t work for. Ya know, like Santa Claus aka Kris Kringle? A sample usage: “Woah he got promoted already? I’m calling kringled.” Another sample usage: Don’t use this because I just made this one up to test you guys.

7. “Hunty”

This one also makes me mad but I’ll probably use it in a tweet before the year is through. A hunty is your BFF or your friend group (dare I say squad?). P.S.—There are a few variations on this one so Urban Dictionary it with caution.

8. “Stan”

This one has roots in an Eminem song so basically it’s vintage to the kiddos using it. It means being an overzealous fan of someone. ‘Stanning’ is also an appropriate use of the slang. Ex: “Lyndsay totally stans Adele’s new album.”

9. “Netflix and Chill”

I KNEW THIS ONE! Which means it’s probably almost out the door. It refers to a text you’d send someone if you wanted them to come over and hook up—not binge watch old The Office episodes.

Well, fam (look this one up!) I hope this helps you sound or feel cool or at least be up to date on what the kids are sayin’ these days. Best combo of them all in a comment wins.

  • LL

    Lol I started noticing my friends saying “bougie” (pronounced boo-G) and I felt totally lost. That’s another one to Urban Dictionary.

    • We use this one all the time! Either you’re basic or bougie.

    • “Bougie” has been a term in the Black community for generations. It’s a bastardization of “bourgeois”.

      • LL

        Oh! Thanks for letting me know. Yeah I’d heard some of these before but that was the only one that was recent (for me), and even my friends were surprised I hadn’t yet heard about it

  • Ally

    oh dear. I have totally misused “Netflix and Chill” with the literal meaning. (Sorry dad…)

    • Omg this made me laugh out loud!!

    • Hahahaha I had no idea that’s what it meant either. lol

    • Maryse

      Haha. This just made me laugh out real loud

  • Chantel Felicien

    I don’t feel so bad, I knew all of these except ‘Kringled’ and I’m in my 30s.

  • Andy

    Most of these arent real. One person probably used the term and now it’s slang, just like “fetch”

    For example, why would a teenager now reference a song from 2000 (i.e. “stanning”) as slang?

  • Ok maybe I’m not the target TheEverygirl audience but most of these terms aren’t new. Black folks, especially Black Twitter, have been using snatched, tea, hunty, shade, etc for years.

    • leilanigl

      Yeah! That weirded me out, this is kind of specific to this writer and just shows what communities she’s not part of. Many of the rest come from tumblr speak &/or fandom, so if you’re not at least paying attention to Black Twitter, or don’t spend much time in certain parts of the Internet, you’re not going to know these. It’s not “omg teh youths” it’s just… not what she exposes herself to, I guess.

      There was a really interesting discussion recently on a linguistics blog about tracing the origins of ‘slang’ and how circulation of these shorthand phrases is changing – it’s no longer just ‘the mainstream’ culture gatekeeping certain words (through what’s put on tv, generally, in the past few decades); there’s more open-ended, chaotic circulation of words and ideas, for better and worse. I can’t find the link of course :p

      • Agreed. This whole thing just reeks of cultural appropriation. Makes me wonder if they even THINK for a one second about the articles the chose to publish sometimes.

    • Ashley

      I couldn’t agree more.. I have read everygirl since it started but articles like this are clearly showing the main demographic the site writes for.. I understand what the writer is saying but these terms aren’t new at ALL! If you look around, you will see these terms everywhere… even in mainstream media

      • Allison

        Did everyone miss the part where this was supposed to be a fun / funny article?

    • LL

      This makes me wonder… what are considered new slang terms? Lol I’m not trying to make a point or argument; I’m just genuinely curious.

  • Jackie Oh!

    I realize some posted comments may be the same as the ones I’ve made here, but I am too lazy to delete anything someone added after I originally typed this. Don’t hate me!

    Anyways, many of these are not new! They are just now going mainstream (I assume) because social media is a thing. If you watch a documentary called “Paris is Burning” you’ll hear snatched and tea – they originated in the New York underground gay culture of the 80’s and 90’s. Hunty and Extra I first heard in black culture during the 2000’s. Stan – yes it is from an Eminem song but it has been being used pretty solidly since the song came out. Ship or “Shipping” is from old forums in the 90’s, specifically The X-Files. Interesting…

    By the way, I am NOT cool…hip…any of that!

  • Lyndsay this had me cracking up! I didn’t know over half of these so does that mean I’m becoming old?

  • BipolarBlackGirl

    I’m in my late twenties and I thought Twitter was keeping me hip but apparently it is not. RHOA taught me about “tea”, “snatched” and “hunty”. Stan is a pretty old term and Netflix and chill is annoying.

  • Kia

    Yep, feeling pretty dang old.

  • Ashley Z

    Rupaul’s Drag Race taught me most of the above.

  • Michelle

    I think I’ve always been old at heart. I have never been able to pull off slang when I’m being genuine – so it’s only reserved for being funny 😉

  • Terry

    “Hunty” is Cunt and Honey combined at least that’s as I know it.