Ever log in to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and just feel completely lost in translation? You’re probably getting old. The most popular phrases and terms used in the social media world are seriously getting more ridiculous with time. Perhaps that’s the point, considering the majority of the most frequent internet users are under twenty and completely dominating social media culture. Before you know it, proper grammar will be a thing of the past and kids will be writing essays with acronyms such as WTF, FML and TTYL. Forget kids, even grandparents are catching on to the lingo.
Thanks to good ole Urban Dictionary, you don’t have to feel like you’ve been living in the village for a week only to come out and see that everyone on your feed is speaking a new language. You can be just as brilliant and maybe come up with your own unique phrases that might trend out of control such as, “Cash me ousside. How bow dah?” And if you’re making absolutely no sense whatsoever in anything you’re commenting or hash-tagging, you might be catching up with the cool kids.
Here is our list of the most ridiculous phrases going viral in social media today, explaining how they became popular and what they mean.
15. You mad, bro?
In 2013, the phrase became an internet sensation upon the televised exchange between Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, where Sherman approached Brady after the Patriots lost the game and basically asked him, “You mad, bro?” Brady is known for being extremely competitive and Sherman is known for his trash talking, so the scenario played out quite characteristically. Sherman tweeted an image and caption of the exchange the following day and later ended up removing it due to the huge controversy it caused. Now, you’ll hear the question asked when someone is feeling upset about a big loss, or feeling a bit humiliated.
14. No filter
“No filter” or #nofilter is usually seen as a caption or hashtag to someone’s posted photo. It means that the photo is in its original quality and hasn’t been edited or touched up somehow by PhotoShop or SnapChat. It’s most frequently used with selfies, meaning that the selfie wasn’t digitally enhanced to make the person’s nose look slimmer, face look shinier, or give the person a different hair color altogether. Sometimes, it’s also used with a photo of a sunset or beautiful scenery to let the viewer know that the image looks exactly the same in reality. The phrase made it to the Urban Dictionary in 2013.
13. OOTD: Outfit of the day
An “OOTD” or #OOTD photo is usually a selfie shot of someone standing in a tall mirror, sometimes with their head cut off. If someone posts a photo of their “OOTD,” it means that they want you to see the super fashionable outfit they’re wearing that day. It’s a phrase that has become popularized by fashion bloggers and can be found on their Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter channels. Yes, this is a trending thing on social media. Why? Because it gives people more useless reasons to post selfies and potentially earn more likes. Isn’t that the goal of Facebook therapy? We think it is, but it doesn’t make this term any less ridiculous.
Contrary to phonetic sense, this can be pronounced ‘poned’ or ‘pawned’ with either pronunciation being correct. The expression originated from the gloating word ‘owned’ which means to dominate. It was used by hackers to describe taking control over the server of another user. The ‘p’ in ‘pwned’ stands for ‘perfectly owned’. You may have also heard it used as ‘pwnage’ (which is even more perplexing) or as part of the phrase, “You just got pwned.” It’s another social media term that really isn’t used in verbal communication. You might raise a few eyebrows if you try adding it to your spoken vocabulary.
“Slay” is synonymous for dominate or succeed. If someone tells you that you slayed something, it’s usually a compliment meaning that you owned it. If “slay” is the only comment you get from someone after you posted a selfie, it can either mean that you look amazing, or they’re telling you to dominate wherever it is that you’re going (whether to an interview or the club). Another example is when someone might say, “Taylor’s new album slayed.” It’s usually a term that isn’t clearly explained, just like everything else that comes out of a teen’s mouth. No one ever follows up “slay” with an identifier to tell you what was actually slayed or what to slay.
10. Bye, Felicia!
The phrase “Bye, Felicia” basically is said when you’re trying to dismiss someone who’s insignificant from a conversation. If someone says “Bye, Felicia” to you, it’s their way of getting rid of you because you’re probably being annoying. In the month of August 2014 alone, the hashtag #byefelicia was tweeted over 35,000 times. The phrase dates back to 1995, where in the film Friday, Ice Cube waves off a character named Felicia (played by Angela Means-Kaaya) after she asks Smokey (Chris Tucker) to borrow a car and a joint. The phrase made it into the Urban Dictionary in 2008 and became an internet sensation in 2011.
9. Relationship goals
“Relationship goals” means exactly what it sounds like. Let’s say you see a cute picture of an old couple sharing an ice cream cone. You might comment “relationship goals” or #relationshipgoals because that’s the kind of relationship you want in life. Also just as popular is “life goals” or #lifegoals that you might comment on someone’s photo if they just accomplished something amazing. You can comment “life goals” when you see a video of someone making a pancake that looks like Bart Simpson. Sometimes, you’ll also see just “goals” or #goals because teens are supposed to be brief, lazy, and mysterious.
In the past, you’d relate the word “thirsty” to the Sahara Desert, and saying that you were thirsty meant that you needed a drink of water, but this is no longer the case thanks to Urban Dictionary. Now, being thirsty means that you’re desperate to get something, and if we’re talking about sex, then it means that you’re horny and wanting some physical action. But it doesn’t have to be just about sex (although it usually is), you can also be thirsty for shopping or thirsty to borrow some money. Just be sure to clarify it otherwise because you can easily be misunderstood.
FTW is an acronym that stands for ‘for the win’. But where did this popular saying suddenly sprout from and why is everyone saying it? Remember the game show Hollywood Squares? That’s probably where the phrase originated, but it suddenly began to make waves as ‘FTW’ by gamers who’d make comments such as “Camping that spawn FTW!” It’s basically used to signify enthusiasm and excitement about something and can be best understood as a victory dance or a high-five. You might see someone post a glass of wine with the caption, “weekend ftw” to express relief that the weekend is finally here. It can also stand for ‘F*** the world’ although this expression is seldom used.
6. Life hack
You might have also heard of the term, “beauty hack.” A life hack is basically a technique that is meant to make your life easier and more efficient. Likewise, a beauty hack is a makeup tip that is meant to simplify your beauty or makeup application routine. You might see a picture of someone putting tape on the corners of their eyelids to help them apply their eyeliner more accurately, and this would be a beauty hack. Life hacks can be as simple as using a toilet paper roll to prop your smartphone. They don’t always have to be brilliant and can be simply for entertainment purposes.
“Salty” means annoyed, upset, or embarrassed. You might think of arrogant Atlanta Falcons fans being salty after the incredible Patriots domination of the 2017 Super Bowl. Someone who is feeling salty is a bit more agitated than someone who is bitter, probably because they just got humiliated. You’ve probably felt salty several times in life and didn’t have quite the right word to describe how you were feeling. In 2013, Chief Keef released a song called “Salty,” where he says, “I got all these racks on me now she feeling salty.” The song is basically about a girl who once rejected him but wants him back now that he’s famous.
In 2014, Pharrell released the song, “Come Get It Bae.” “Bae” is short for “babe,” which is short for “baby.” Complicated, I know. Welcome to the digital age. Someone can call you “bae” because you’re their baby. Or, you can also caption a photo of a sandwich with “bae” to show people how much you love that sandwich. It’s a word that has dual meaning and can also be used in something like, “Bae be looking bae,” meaning that my babe is looking great. Unfortunately, BAE is also the name of huge aerospace and security systems company, as well as the Danish word for poop.
3. On fleek
In 2014, the term “on fleek” went viral after being used in a Vine video where 16-year-old Peaches Monroe gave a tutorial on how to do eyebrows. That’s right, eyebrows. In the tutorial, Monroe quotes “eyebrows on fleek,” which she actually intended to say, “eyebrows on flick,” but the former took waves. Now, you’ll hear someone say “on fleek” to describe something that was perfectly done or on point, although it’s still most frequently used to describe eyebrows. So, the next time you see a photo of someone’s eyebrows that were perfectly plucked and shaded in, you might want to comment that they’re “on fleek.”
2. Dat ____ tho
In 2013, a popular vine was created by KingBach where a woman was getting robbed and instead of helping her chase the robber, he does a backflip off the wall and says, “I’ll save you.” She then says, “He’s already gone,” and he responds, “Yeah, but dat backflip tho.” The phrase is used to place emphasis on something that’s not the main point of the conversation or photo. Another popular scenario is a girl posting a selfie and hash-tagging the photo with #OOTD and then receiving the comment “dat booty tho” which draws attention to her figure rather than her outfit.
1. Cash me ousside. How bow dah?
This is perhaps the most ridiculous phrase trending on the internet today. If you’re wondering what it means, try reading it again slowly. You might hear, “Catch me outside. How about that?” The phrase originated from Danielle Bregoli, a very troubled 13-year-old who appeared on Dr. Phil and shouted this to the audience when she thought they were laughing at her. She was basically inviting them to an outside fight. The phrase is now an internet sensation with users of all ages posting “how bow dah” after just about every sentence you can think of. For now, the meme will probably continue to cycle for another decade or so.
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