What is the language of the Internet? Is it English you say? Think again. The diverse and varied inhabitants of the online sphere speak in a lingo that might be sound familiar to English speakers from the last century, but the words are all wrong. ‘Lit’ does not mean to set something alight and ‘woke’ no longer refers to the past tense of wake. Every new generation of netizens find their own lingo, their own words that perfectly encapsulate emotions, experiences and moments that they collectively relate to. What’s truly interesting is that this group of Internet addicts is as diverse as it gets. If one has to go looking for the roots of a universal language that will define the way the world speaks in the decades to come, look no further.
Another interesting aspect about these slang terms is their longevity, or rather their lack of it. For instance, things kicked off with abbreviations of common phrases like –
LOL – laughing out loud
SMH – shaking my head
TBH – to be honest
BTW – by the way
NP – no problem
ROTFL– rolling on the floor laughing
AWK – awkward
IRL – in real life
YOLO – you only live once
KK – okay
FOMO/JOMO: Fear of Missing Out and Joy of Missing Out
Soon these words became so common that they no longer qualify as slang terms. Newer phrases have come into play and are constantly being replaced by others. Which is why we have attempted to compile a comprehensive list of terms that are trending this year. Be warned, if you read this a couple of months too late, these terms might no longer be relevant at all. How’s that for dynamic?
Thanks to their attention span of nearly zero seconds, millennials have a constant need for coming up with new phrases to replace existing ones. What was ‘cool’ in the 90s and ‘badass’ in the 2000s is now ‘savage’. Used primarily as a form of appreciating somebody’s vicious badassery, savage has become a fairly popular phrase. So if somebody describes you as savage, it doesn’t mean you are a caveman; they probably just think you’re really amazing.
Zero chill/ no chill
Whenever something is totally uncool or somebody is not behaving in a ‘chill’ way, they have zero chill or no chill. So the next time your boss yells at you for arriving 5 minutes late to work, don’t describe him as ‘unreasonable’. Simply say – he has no chill.
Your average, conscientious netizen might not win any prizes for grammar but he or she is extremely aware about social issues. In other words, they are ‘woke’.
When the words ‘who’ and ‘whom’ are not fancy enough – you use Whomst, a fake word that originated as a parody of a bunch of people trying to prove their superiority on a forum online. It has frighteningly entered mainstream usage and is continuing to grow in 2017. Whomst would use such a word, you ask? You would be surprised.
These two terms are not opposites of each other but simply describe different ways of loving or liking something. For instance, if you love shopping very much, you basically high-key love shopping. But if romcoms are your secret guilty pleasure that you wouldn’t want anybody to know about, you are low-key loving them.
Tired of your boring job? Totally fed up with your nagging boss? You are basically ‘done’ with your job. You can pretty much use it to describe anything or anyone.
Simply put, it’s an abbreviation of ‘relationship’. So then next time you see a teenager talking about his or her ‘ship’ online, don’t mistaken them for a sailor.
When it takes too long to say the words ‘stalker fan’, you simply mash them together and get stan. Another example of the Internet’s obsession with shortening everything.
Take a verb or adjective and simply dangle the word boots at the end of it for greater emphasis. You might be greatly annoyed by someone but instead of just using a word like ‘very’ for greater emphasis, just add boots after. I am annoyed boots.
If you get called an extra online, chances are you are coming across too strong or are trying too hard to prove yourself. “That dude’s an extra bro, he has no chill boots!” You get the idea.
A number of other phrases like ‘lit’ and ‘bae’ are still doing the rounds but experts reckon they won’t stick around for long. What’s truly interesting about these slangs is how they lose their popularity the moment they become too mainstream. The hipster mindset continues here too which indicates a constantly dynamic online lingo.