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Your 3-minute crash course in millennial slang

If you’re getting accustomed to terms like bae, salty and lit, you’ve been spending too much time with a millennial.

And if these words are causing you to scratch your head in bewilderment, trust me, you’re not alone.

I now write monthly promotional newsletters for an upmarket beauty brand that attracts the Kim Ks and Kylies of Melbourne. So I suddenly found myself having to consult my 13-year old daughter and 21-year old copywriting assistant – both shameless Instagram addicts – for a crash course in millennial slang.

And boy was I enlightened.

Too good not to share, here it is: the must-have translator for anyone who writes for, markets to, parents or interacts with a millennial. #writingoals

 

Adulting

When a young person starts fulfilling adult responsibilities.

Example:

A: You’re paying rent now?

B: Yep, I’m adulting.

 

Af

 

‘As [email protected]#k’. Used to describe something to the extreme.

Example:

That guy is cute af

 

Bae

 

Used to describe girlfriends, boyfriends and best friends. Some suggest it’s an acronym for ‘before anyone else’.

Example:

A: Is that your boyfriend?

B: Yep, that’s my bae!

 

Basic Used to describe someone who lacks any interesting characteristics.

Example:

Don’t even talk to her, she’s so basic.

 

Can’t even

 

When someone can’t deal with something because it’s too much.

Example:

A: OMG, look at that dog.

B: That dog is so adorable I can’t even.

 

Dope Used to describe something or someone that is cool or awesome.

Example:

Ariana Grande is dope!

 

Goals Something that people aspire to or find inspirational.

Example:

A: Look at that sweet couple over there.

B: They’re relationship goals.

 

Jelly Another word for jealous.

Example:

Look at her with my ex, I’m so jelly!

 

Lit

 

When something is off the rails (super fun).

Example:

A: Did you go to that party last night?

B: Yes, it was lit!

 

On fleek

 

Used to describe something that is perfect.

Can sometimes be used interchangeably with ‘on point’ and originally used to describe eyebrows.

Example:

A: Look at my eyebrows!

B: Eyebrows on fleek!

 

On point

 

Describes perfection and can be used in greater contexts than ‘on fleek’.

Example:

Her outfit is on point.

 

Salty

 

Describes an angry person or aggressive behaviour.

Example:

A: Alex makes me so angry.

B: You’re so salty.

 

Savage

 

Being harsh, brutal or nasty.

Example:

A: You look bad in that selfie.

B: Damn, you’re savage!

 

Shook

 

Shocked or surprised.

Example:

A: Trump got elected president.

B: What?! I’m SHOOK!

 

Slay When someone is excelling at something

Example:

A: Omg, look at Chloe’s dress!

B: Yas Chloe, slay!

 

Squad

 

Used to describe a group of friends.

Example:

A: Do you know Ben?

B: Yes, he’s part of my squad.

 

Throw shade

 

To disrespect or trash talk someone (usually in public).

Example:

Katy Perry is always throwing shade at Taylor Swift.

 

Woke

 

Being aware.

Example:

Stay woke about equality.

 

Zero chill/no chill

 

Meaning 1: when one loses the ability to be calm.

Example:

What? Trump got elected? I got no chill!

Meaning 2: when one doesn’t care about anything anymore.

Example:

A: That guy attended class in his pyjamas.

B: He’s got zero chill.

 

Credits go to the wonderful Victoria Zhu for helping me nut this stuff out. Her explanations were #onpoint.