An up-to-date Glossary of Millennial Culture
The key to any successful marketing campaign is the ability to relate to your audience. If you want to market to a Carolina football fan, you're going to use a panther. It's that simple.
Reaching the millennial audience is no different. If you learn their language and culture, you'll be able to connect and leave a genuine, lasting impression.
So, we decided to create our own complete Millennial reference guide because, like you, we're tired of googling slang definitions only to find articles by people who don't know what they're talking about.
So say "deuce deuces" to people who still, like, think that millennials, like, talk like this, like.
NOTE: While it is vital to be aware of these popular terms and their meanings, that does NOT mean you are required to use them. The following 49 terms, like any other slang, may not be appropriate for all contexts or individuals (see 5 Mistakes You're Making Marketing to Millennials).
More importantly, if you are going to use Millennial terminology, be certain you know what you're saying. Because using a term incorrectly could be potentially disastrous, and well, embarrassing.
A popular texting term to signify the intensity of something; "As F*ck".
Ex: I haven't eaten all day. I’m hungry AF.
A shortened form of ‘babe’ and an acronym for “Before Anyone Else”. A term of endearment, most commonly for a significant other, but can also refer to various things you like, especially food.
Someone (typically female) who likes all the stereotypical things everyone else likes, therefore coming off as having no real defining character traits or individuality. Popular basic interests include Starbucks, Ugg boots, “The Bachelor” and Instagram filters.
This basically means you're telling the truth. Coined by the Kardashians, saying the word "Bible" after making a promise or telling a story translates to "I swear on the Bible."
1) Said ironically or sarcastically to refer to ordinary situations and occurrences
2) Used to boast about an accomplishment while pretending to be humble, fish for a compliment, acknowledge a success, or purposely elicit envy
6. Break The Internet
When something causes a mass commotion on the Internet and becomes ubiquitous across all social networks and news outlets.
To be appallingly unattractive, lame, or boring.
8. Bye Felicia
Originally from the 1995 movie "Friday," this phrase recently made a massive resurgence into pop culture. It is used as an act of disrespect whenever somebody you don't like leaves the room.
A catfish is someone who uses a fake online profile to pretend to be someone they're not, particularly to pursue a deceptive online romance. Getting catfished is the unfortunate and embarrassing act of falling for the deception.
10. Dab / Dabbin'
1) Until recently, dabbing was used exclusively as a term for smoking concentrated hash oil into order to extract 90% of its THC (aka an intense form of smoking marijuana).
2) A dance craze that started out of Atlanta by members of the rap label, Quality Control. The Dab move involves lifting both arms upward and diagonally, with one arm bent and your face tucked into the elbow as if to cough.
11. daaamnn daniel
"Damn Daniel" or the extended version "damn Daniel, back at it again with the white Vans" was started as a vine that went viral. (See #47 for Vine). The phrase is now used as an expression of being impressed, typically by a friend's clothing .
Used as a replacement for "though," following the trend to replace "th" sounds with "d" sounds. It's often used at the end of sentence fragments to express that the person was impressed by something.
Ex: Bruh, did you see dat Walking Dead finale doe!?!
Fam is singular and short for “family.” Your squad is your group of friends, but your “fam” is directed towards one individual.
Similar to "I can't even," people would refer to their "feels" as the intense wave of emotions that sometimes cannot be adequately explained.
Ex: This Drake song gives me so many feels.
Made popular by a Vine before being adopted by Beyonce and Nicki Minaj, "fleek" is most often associated with eyebrows but can refer to any physical attribute. If something is "on fleek", that mean it is looking perfect or is on point.
The formal meaning of flex is to show off your muscles, and the slang meaning broadens that to just showing off in general, usually with money. Hip hop duo Rae Sremmurd condemned the activity of flexing in the song "No Flex Zone."
"Fear Of Missing Out". A state of mental or emotional strain caused by the fear of missing out on a potentially great party or event.
18. Geotag / Geofilter
An electronic tag that assigns a geographical location to a photograph, video, social media post, etc. The app Snapchat (see #37) recently created Geofilters- location based overlays that users can apply to their Snaps as they would a filter.
A positive, potentially even motivational form of jealousy towards a particular aspect of someone else’s life.
Ex: Blake Lively is literally #HairGoal
Stands for the "Greatest Of All Time". Commonly in reference to athletes.
Ex: “Tom Brady is the GOAT”
When you are so hungry that it causes you to become angry.
22. I Can’t Even
When you’re overwhelmed with emotion to the point you can’t handle something; essentially a shortened version of “I can’t even handle that”.
23. I’m Dead
Statement made in response to something that is incredibly overwhelming, usually because it is hilarious or amazing. Based on the phrase “dying of laughter.”
24. Instagram / insta
A popular photo-sharing app where users edit photos and apply "filters" to change the aesthetic of the image, and use "hashtags" to connect their post to specific themes or topics.
Here are a few well-known hashtags on Instagram:
Man Crush Monday. Post a pic on Instagram of your man crush for that Monday.
Woman Crush Wednesday. The female version of MCM.
Throw Back Thursday. On Thursdays, Insta users post old photos, whether it is a childhood photo, yearbook photo or a photo taken last week.
25. Is That A Thing?
A question used to confirm the validity of a new trend/occurrence.
Ex: “Khloe posted a pic wearing a one piece bathing suit. Is that a thing?”
26. It's Lit
When the location you're at or the action you're doing is live, hype or "turnt" (see #45). Most often used in reference to a fun party.
27. Literally / Legit
Used interchangeably to mean 'seriously' or 'really'.
28. Low key
Something needing to be said quietly and/or downplayed.
Ex: I’m low key in love with him.
29. Netflix and Chill
A subtle way to invite someone over to your place, initially as just a "friend", so that it can lead to an opportunity of getting intimate while casually watching Netflix. Basically, a new way of booty calling.
30. Next Level
To succeed or to maximize whatever it is you’re referring to.
Ex: My Instagram is cool, but your Instagram is next level.
31. No Chill
In this phrase, chill is meant the same as it is in the admonition "chill out" - meaning calm, cool-headed, rational. So saying someone has "no chill" means that person is not, or cannot be cool, calm and rational. In other words they are going crazy or acting very uncool, irrational etc.
Ex: Nick has no chill the way he was talking about Brian's girl last night right in front of him.
32. Or Nah
Used as a trendy way to form yes or no sentences, originating from Ty Dolla $ign's song "Or nah".
1) An act that is either cool or hardcore, going beyond the normal scope of the given situation
2) A person who displays savage behavior, and does not care about the consequences of his or her actions
A picture taken of yourself with the intent of uploading to a social networking site.
Similar to #49 "yaas," "slay" became a term used often in fashion (although not exclusively) to describe a person who is looking or doing something that is amazing. When you are slaying, it means that you are at the top of your game.
36. Slide into your DMs
When you confidently send a flirtatious private message to someone on Twitter (DM stands for Direct Messages...click to learn more). "Slide into your DMs like..." is often accompanied by a photo or video to convey the right action or feeling.
An app that enables the user to send captioned pictures and videos to their friends. Once the recipient opens the image, it automatically deletes after a set amount of time between 1-10 seconds.
The name for your group of friends. And your squad doesn't just arrive places, they roll up.
Used extensively in Kanye West's song "Mercy," "swerve" can take on a variety of meanings. Most often, it is used to deny, reject and non-subtly dodge a request, question or comment.
Similar to ‘horny,’ but with an added sense of desperation. A popular variation: "the thirst is real" is a phrase referring to someone’s over-eagerness.
Standing for "That Ho Over There," it is a term from hip-hop culture used to refer to a promiscuous female.
42. Throwing Shade
To talk trash about a friend or acquaintance; to publicly denounce or disrespect.
43. Trap Queen
A term made popular by rapper, Fetty Wap. A trap queen is a street smart, trustworthy, wise woman respectful to her family and friends and above all loyal to her lover.
Commonly used by commenters on social media to express reaction or mutual agreement to a certain subject or topic.
45. Turn Up / Turnt
Getting turnt or turning up is a way of saying that you are/were in full party mode, typically involving copious amounts of alcohol. Ex: “I was so turnt last night… The last thing I remember is breaking into the panda cage at the zoo "
46. Urban Dictionary
An online slang dictionary with user-submitted definitions.
A social media app where users post 7 second long videos, called vines. People use the phrase “do it for the vine” to encourage others to do stupid and/or dangerous stunts on camera with the intent of uploading to Vine.
Being aware — specifically in reference to current events and cultural issues. The phrase "stay woke" is often added to remind people to continue paying attention to often overlooked information about a major phenomenon.
It’s yes, but with more enthusiasm and excitement. The number of As in the middle determines your level of excitement.
If you like this post, check out "5 Mistakes You're Making Marketing to Millennials"
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