“Yeet” vs. “Sweet”: Are They Synonyms?

If you hang out with a younger person long enough, you might hear them proclaiming Yeet! But you’re not alone if you have no idea what they’re talking about. You may be able to get by with nodding your head and smiling, but … when they also throw a Sweet! into the mix, it can get confusing. Are you supposed to assume they mean the same thing?

Well, you’ve come to the right place for help. Because, it’s true, someone might say Yeet! in the same tone as Sweet! and the two do sound similar. But does that mean they can be used interchangeably? And what exactly is a yeet? Let’s take a closer look.

What does yeet mean?

Yeet is an exclamation that can be used for excitement, approval, surprise, or to show all-around energy. It’s been around since 2008, and by now, this slang term has also become a dance move, is used to celebrate a good throw, and pops up in sports and sexual contexts, according to Urban Dictionary. For example: When she threw her ball of trash into the can from across the room, she called out “Yeet!” right as it made it in perfectly

Although yeet is an interjection (think Yes! or Score!), it also became a dance term that gained popularity in 2014 thanks to Black social media culture, which gave it momentum. Milik Fullilove has been credited with starting the Yeet dance phenomenon after a YouTube video of his dancing while calling out Yeet! went viral. Yeet has continued to spread across the Internet, appearing everywhere from memes to videos. The American Dialect Society even voted yeet as 2018’s Slang/Informal Word of the Year! 

WATCH: Where Did The Word "Yeet" Come From?

What does sweet mean?

Sweet is an adjective that can be defined as “having the taste or flavor characteristic of sugar, honey, etc.” Something that’s sweet isn’t bitter, sour, or salty, and instead is pleasing. A person or animal can also be sweet if he or she is kind, gracious, beloved, or precious. 

Sweet was first recorded before 900 and originated from the Middle English swete. In addition to amiable, synonyms for sweet include sugary, melodious, charming, and aromatic.

Despite this word’s long established history and definitions, a new meaning for sweet emerged over the last century. Sweet can also be used as a slang term to show delight. According to a 2004 Urban Dictionary post, sweet can be defined as “an intensive used to express satisfaction, acceptance, pleasure, excellence, exaltation, approval, awe, or reverence.”

And how you pronounce it can impact sweet’s meaning. The more E’s you add, the bigger the impact. For example: Sweet! versus Sweeeeeet! 

WATCH: Why Are There So Many Definitions For The Word "Sweet"?

How to use each word

Sweet and yeet can be interchanged depending on the intended meaning. If you’re talking about something that tastes sugary or a person who is kindhearted, yeet doesn’t work here. (Obviously, you’re not going to tell Aunt Camila she’s yeet for making you that birthday cake.) But if you’re showing positive energy or interjecting some energy, either can be used. So you might say, there’s cake, yeet!

For example: When the teacher decided to cancel the final exam, there was a chorus of Yeet! from students. Or, hey, everybody, I got the job! Yeet! Both sentences make sense with a Sweet! as well.

 But if you’re breaking it down in a video or your mirror, yeet is the right word to call out; sweet doesn’t work here. Ya yeet!

 

Did you know, if you’ve got some sweet, sweet moves, you might even call them “sick.” Get the lowdown on how to use sick, and whether gnarly and nasty fit in there as well.

Or just stick with the nicer terms out there, and broaden your scope with these synonyms for nice.

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