What does on fleek mean?
‘Bout to crunk. Eyebrows on fleek. Dafuq.
These are the immortal words of Kayla Newman, credited with coining the slang on fleek for something “perfectly executed.” On fleek is often used to describe someone’s appearance or style, but can describe anything that’s “flawless,” sometimes shortened to just fleek.
Where does on fleek come from?
People invent slang terms all the time. They just almost never catch on, because language is organic. It doesn’t like to be forced. Then came the incredible case of on fleek.
On fleek was coined in mere seconds by a Chicago teenager, Kayla Newman. In June 2014, she, under the username Peaches Monroee, posted a super-short Vine video where she describes her “eyebrows on fleek” before going out to a party. Let the record state: Your eyebrows were very on fleek, Kayla. They were “perfectly done” and “flawless,” as the slang means.
The video went massively viral. Shortly after, superstar Ariana Grande posted her own Vine “cover” of Newman’s video, which helped spread on fleek into the mainstream. In fall 2014, even more high-profile instances of on fleek, everyone from Kim Kardashian to IHOP, helped make the slang more of a thing.
Pancakes on fleek.
— IHOP (@IHOP) October 21, 2014
Now, we can find some pre-Newman examples of fleek. Urban Dictionary enters fleek in 2003 “for smooth, nice, sweet” and in 2009 for “awesome,” but Newman says her on fleek was an independent coinage (and flash of genius). The expression calls up on point and the sounds of other slang terms like crunk, twerk, and werk.
Since 2014, on fleek has become one of the most popular internet neologisms of the 2010s, even nominated by the American Dialect Society in 2015 in its “Most Likely to Succeed” category. Although Newman’s original use has kept on fleek closely connected to aspects of fashion (especially brows and makeup), the solo fleek has come to describe anything as “excellent,” from Instagram influencers to Taco Bell grub.
Viral internet content likes to burn out like so many meteors, but on fleek has, delightfully, proved its staying power. Certainly performer Cardi B gave it further fuel in her 2016 track, “On Fleek.”
Examples of on fleek
Who uses on fleek?
In casual speech and writing, women often use on fleek for when they’re look is perfectly put-together and executed.
Anyway, side profile on fleek x pic.twitter.com/zYgQeFgNd8
— POSH SPICE (@AdaoraKaycee) July 4, 2018
Many brands make use of on fleek, too, to promote their beauty products.
Hands up if you’re ready for a fabulous #COMPETITION! 🌴Get your brows on fleek this summer and #WIN the L.A Girl Inspiring Brow Kit in a shade of your choice! To enter, simply #FOLLOW us + #RETWEET! Extra entries here:https://t.co/J0SrpQZjWy 🌴Good Luck babes! x pic.twitter.com/mejVzxIGoo
— The Beauty Store (@thebeautystore) July 9, 2018
Folks who are trying to excel in other realms of life, such as school and religion, may describe their faith on fleek, for instance, when they are feeling they’ve got it going on.
Happy First Day Back. May our GPA’s be raised, our sleep patterns consistent, our skin clear, & our faith on fleek. Cheers to success
— Destiny (@mii__destiny) January 18, 2018
As a product of the internet age, of course, on fleek also gets used with plenty of irony.
My 🐱 on fleek !
— Cuban da savage (@CubanDaSavage) July 5, 2018
My misuse of outdated slang is on fleek.
— ☠ Captain Redbeard ☠ (@Jeremy_Shmeremy) July 8, 2018
This is not meant to be a formal definition of on fleek like most terms we define on Dictionary.com, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of on fleek that will help our users expand their word mastery.