Words Of The 90s: Fly Slang That Should Be Used Today


Hella cool

The 90s might be in the past, but that doesn’t mean the language from that decade needs to be. Sure, there are some words we don’t need to hang onto (boo-yah! and not! come to mind), but there are a few we’d like to keep around. So, why don't you try out these words from the 90s for those days when you’re feeling especially fly.

WATCH: Slang Every 90s Kid Knows


The word dip is equivalent to the word leave. Instead of saying "you have to go," or "you need to leave," it’s pimpin' to say "you have to dip."


To get crunked is "to be amped up about something." Whether you are excited about an upcoming concert or a new pair of shoes, using the word crunk to describe your enthusiasm will surely show the hype.


Nowadays, people say, “hi,” or “what’s up?,” but back in the 90s everyone was saying wazzzzzap. It’s a friendly (bordering on annoying) word to use when you’re with someone you know well, and so much more fun to say then, “hey.” This one originated from a Budweiser commercial. Classy.


Remember trying to explain this one to your parents? No, phat doesn’t mean fat. Literally, it means something is pretty hot (meaning, "attractive") and tempting. It can be used to describe someone’s appearance, but many people used this word to describe all things that were beyond awesome.


The word pimpin’ has a few different meanings. It can refer to a ladies man who has more than one female in his life, or it can be used to describe a guy’s super stylish wardrobe. Pimpin’ can also be used when the word cool just won’t do—of course, it can also be crazy inappropriate (like in the workplace), so judge your company wisely.

Oh, snap

After the 90s, sassily snapping your fingers, while yelling "Oh, snap!" went out of style. Sadly, it seems American culture hasn't been all that interested in syncopated snapping since Lil Jon's "Snap Yo Fingers" charted back in 2006. If you want to bring this one back (but aren't sassy enough to pull it off), try paying a compliment to a friend by giving them snaps instead.


The word stylin’ is best used when you want to tell someone how good they look. Is their hair on point (meaning perfect . . . not necessarily spiked)? Or, maybe they have a new outfit you adore. Either way, they’re totally stylin, and you should be the one to tell them.


Trippin’ is a great way to describe someone who is freaking out. Sure, they could have a reason to be upset or mad, but they are also completely trippin’ over the situation. This one could easily have come from the version of the word trippin' that refers to drug use. Drugs can definitely make you act . . . a little freaky.


Did your friend steal something? Did your date just check out another woman in front of you? Oh yeah, these peeps are wacked (acting crazy!). Don't confuse this dope 90s word with wack, which means "lame" (however, that word is also seemingly acceptable in these situations).


Tattletale dates back to the 90s—the 1890's, actually. For whatever reason, the phrase experienced a resurgence with elementary school students in the 1980s and 90s. Today, it's sometimes used interchangeably with snitch, although that word has much darker connotations. Stick to tattletale, kids! This isn't the prison yard, it's recess.


When did we stop calling dibs on everything? Dibs on the front seat. Dibs on the last piece of ice-cream cake.

Where did this strange word come from? It may have originated from dibstone, which was part of an old children's game similar to modern-day Jacks.

Alrighty then

Comedian Jim Carrey popularized alrighty then during his rise to fame in the 1990s. It's the ultimate sarcastic reply, even when compared to other legendary 90s clapbacks like talk to the hand or whatever.


Props, dude! Apparently, this term is a shortened version of the word properSo, giving props is a fly way of complimenting someone on a proper job well-done. How supportive!

Home skillet

Maybe a close relative of the word homie, home skillet is the perfect example of wacky 90s slang. But . . . why compare a close friend to a skilletThere's little to no consensus on the origin of this phrase, but it's sure hilarious to say.

You've got mail!

Ok, we're cheating a little bit: You've got mail was first heard in 1989, but it enjoyed major popularity throughout the 90s. Sure, AOL isn't exactly a frontrunner these days, but you've got mail remains a legendary throwback in the tech world. Plus, it was exciting to hear when you signed on (probably a similar feeling to hearing a voice message on the answering machine in the 80s).

Thug life

Rapper (and activist) Tupac Shakur is revered for having lived and breathed the thug life. But, did you know this menacing phrase is actually an acronym protesting systematic oppression? According to Shakur, thug life stands for: The Hate U Gave—Little Infants F's Everybody.

Make'em say UGH

Hip-hop mogul Master P doesn't get enough credit for his contributions to the English language! After all, he's the rapper who had us joyously shouting out UGH in the 90s. Master P also gave us the delightful catchphrase bout it bout it (an expression of commitment to one's neighborhood).

Yada, yada, yada

No 90s list would be complete without a Seinfeld reference. Of course, yada-yada-yada is Seinfeld's version of blah-blah-blah. But, what's a yada? It's actually a term from Judaism that means "to know." Just like blah-blah, it's a way of skipping over the boring (or explicit) parts of a story in order to get to the main point.

Words from the 80s

Want to continue your journey down memory lane with words from another decade? Check out Words of the 80s: Totally Tubular Slang, dude.

Sign up for our Newsletter!
Start your day with new words, fun quizzes, and language stories.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

The Dictionary Is More Than The Word Of The Day

Enter your email for quizzes, quotes, and word facts in your inbox every day.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.