Cracking The Code of Millennial Slang

Speak With the Times

One fantastic (and scary?) thing about the internet is how rapidly it pushes the boundaries of language. It’s hard to go a week without a new word or phrase being born on Twitter.

Regardless of your generation, new slang is tricky to pick up on. So, with that in mind, we’ve decoded this list of popular words and phrases that are killing it on the internet right now.

Glo Up

When someone says—“She really glo’d up”—it refers to a person suddenly becoming more attractive and mature. YouTube star Logan Paul recently used this term to mock his younger brother Jake, who’s also highly popular on the site. During his diss track The Fall of Jake Paul lyrics such as “Hold up - I’ma throw up, looking at your face you don’t know what it means to Glo Up” are rapped—possibly a veiled reference to his brother’s persistent acne. It’s both disturbing and hilarious to see that sibling rivalry is reaching new heights in the social media age.

Lit

Lit can describe a situation or event that’s very cool, exciting, or crazy, as in “This party is so freaking lit right now.” Hip-hop artist Travis Scott is notable for his frequent use of “It’s Lit!” as an ad-lib on songs he produces.

Milk

To deploy this meme properly, “Get him some milk!” or “That boy need some milk!” should be shouted at anyone in need of help or self improvement. The phrase first gained traction on the now-defunct social media platform Vine.

Tea

Tea means gossip or dirt. Perhaps the most legendary example of “spilling the tea” is Beyonce’s Lemonade, where she publicly called out husband Jay-Z for his infidelity. This meme is often accompanied by images of Kermit The Frog nonchalantly sipping on his tea.

Woke

A woke person might be considered politically active. The phrase generally describes a young person who is wary of issues related to racial tensions, the prison industrial complex, consumerism, gender fluidity, and the impact of socioeconomic disparity on minorities. Critics have suggested that some of those who represent themselves as woke over the internet are sometimes more concerned with making a statement on social media than engaging in “real life” activism.

Salty

Salty means being in a bad mood, as in “she was salty because she lost the game.” A salty person may harbor grudges, as it also indicates hurt feelings or bitter disappointment. With that said, one man is forever changing how we think about salt on the internet. And that man is none other than Salt Bae. Salt Bae reminds us all that being salty is often justified. Also, it’s impossible to stay grumpy when imagining that majestic man sprinkling sodium chloride all over a bovine carcass.

Snap Trap

A snap trap is a tactic sometimes used to find out what an SO (significant other, or romantic partner) is up to. If you send a text and your SO doesn’t reply, it’s considered an offense. If you follow up with a Snapchat and they open it—your snap trap was just activated. You roll your eyes because bae obviously has time to snap but not to text you back.

Finstagram

A Finstagram is an alternative Instagram account where people, typically teens, can experiment by safely posting questionable selfies, personal jokes, outfits they want advice on, and personal rants to close friends.

Thirsty

When someone is trying too hard for attention, he or she may be called out for being thirsty. Thirst is an undesirable quality, as it can betray desperation or neediness. For example, if you text your crush and get upset when they don’t respond back within ten minutes, you might just be a little thirsty. Maybe you need some milk?

Draking

Draking describes the feelings of sadness or melancholy you experience while listening to an emotional song. It comes from Drake, the sappy (but beautiful) Canadian rapper. But the term might also be used to explain life decisions, like in these texts: “i cried all night i swear i was draking” and “i didn’t mean to text you i was just draking.”

Throwing Shade

Throwing shade is a sneaky way of putting someone down or criticizing them. Rather than attacking their target with full force, those who throw shade prefer a more subtle and artful approach. It's the equivalent of talking smack behind someone’s back. It’s a cunning way to disrespect your enemies while minimizing the risk of actually confronting them. Successful shade throwers depend on passive aggression to avoid direct conflict.

Roast

Roasting is the fine artform of insulting your friends over the internet. This is similar to traditional roasts, where attendees gather to playfully insult and joke about the night’s honoree. On YouTube, the practice of harshly mocking or criticizing another channel’s content is considered roasting. Roasts that are mean-spirited can quickly evolve into cyber bullying or trolling.

“It’s just a prank!”

For the last couple of years, pranks have been a hot commodity on YouTube. This has led some creators to fake or stage audacious pranks in pursuit of views and publicity. “It’s just a prank!” references an infamous fake prank video in which the pranksters end up crying and begging for mercy from the “unsuspecting” people they enrage. This phrase is commonly used online as a humorous excuse or justification for behaving disrespectfully towards another person.

Firing Shot

A firing shot is when someone says something that’s bound to offend another person. The comment isn’t nice, so it’s like a verbal bullet. Similarly, one might comment or say “Shots fired!” when it’s clear that some entertaining drama is about to unfold.