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10 Slang Phrases That We Hope to Never See Again in the New Decade

Slang gets a bad rap from older generations who think us young folk are too lazy to reach for a thesaurus. But what older people don’t know is that sprinkling our vocabulary with bright and shiny slang words is a creative exercise. Why say something straightforward when you can embellish it a bit with a fun phrase or two? But like any new object, when something is played with too much, it loses its initial allure. 

\Recently, pop culture writer Joe Berkowitz asked his Twitter followers what slang words from the 2010s they hoped to never see again with the dawning of the new decade.

From “slay” to “spirit animal” Berkowitz’s 20,000 followers had no problem sharing the slang words they’d be happy to leave behind in the 2010s. We compiled a list of the top 10 most liked and retweeted options. Take a look at some of the winners below!

1. Slay

Twitter seems to largely agree that the term “slay” has become over-used and over-exposed in the latter years of the 2010 decade. However, other Twitter users were arguing that it only became over-used when it was appropriated by the mainstream from largely POC and LGBTQ communities. “Nope,” said Twitter user @ShrimpLingSoup. “The black lbgtqia community will decide when slay dies, just like they decided the time for #slay to be born”.

2.  On Fleek

The slang term “on fleek” was invented by Kayla Newman in 2014. It quickly went viral and everyone from Ariana Grande to Sir Patrick Stewart was getting in on the action. Unfortunately, it’s possible for slang to become distinctly un-cool once it’s used too much. We vote for this phrase to be left behind in the 2010s.

3. Slaps

Twitter user @leowulv is tired of hearing the phrase “slaps” as a way to describe something that is mediocre at best. “Saying something “slaps” when it’s deemed to be generally very good” he said on Berkowitz’s Twitter thread. “I guess it was fine when talking about a song but I def. have heard ppl say stuff like ‘damn, this burrito straight slaps’ and… just no”.

4. Adulting

“Adulting” is a term millennials invented to describe their disillusionment around the transition from childhood to adulthood. As millennials began to grow older and pay taxes, get their oil changed, and buy checkbooks all by themselves, they began to celebrate their small victories online by calling these small wins “adulting”. Quickly, a wave of criticism was leveled at the term for celebrating behavior that many considered just doing the bare minimum in life.

5. Stan

The user of the word “stan” as a way to say you’re a fan of something “makes me want to murder people,” says Twitter user @Limeylizzie. And while we agree that the word is pretty over-used, we have to admit that we’ve been guilty of heavily relying on this word ourselves sometimes.

6. Clapped Back

“Clapped back” is a phrase that was born out of necessity. The internet has given birth to a culture of online haters and public shaming. All this hate has made it necessary for people (usually celebrities) at the receiving end of criticism  to have an opportunity to respond to hate. Thus, the “clap-back” was born. But, what used to be a term of empowerment has become hokey and outdated.

7. Spirit Animal

“Calling a thing that is not an animal your spirit animal. Likeee saying @lizzo is your spirit animal. No, Lizzo is a person,” says Twitter user @K_Trappp. “You can look at a baby giraffe and say ‘hey that’s my spirit animal’ but not with humans!”

8. “I did a thing”

People started using the phrase “I did a thing” especially in the captions of their Instagram posts to describe pretty much…anything. Twitter user @PrairieDawn2011 hates this phrase “especially when ‘the thing’ is getting like an inch of hair cut off”. We agree that people can be a bit more creative when describing current events in their lives.

9. Bae

Bae, which comes from the acronym “Before Anyone Else” became woefully overused in the 2010s. Everything from one’s actual S.O. to a delicious burrito was described as “bae”. As Twitter user @deidralouisee so eloquently put it: “As a whore for linguistics and social changes around language evolving, and evolving forms of communication- I love all generational slang BUT bae can kiss my ass”.

10. Karen

In the 2010s, “Karen” became shorthand for an annoying lady who used her white privilege to her advantage at the expense of others. However, it became tired after people start using the phrase at the end of every sentence in order to add some humor to an otherwise humorless statement. “Dropping a random woman’s name because you can’t think of a joke, Karen”

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