Every minute of every day, new slang words are being coined. Whether they become popular and live on for many years or die a lonely death is another story entirely. Here, we've curated a few of the most common slang words that entered usage in the past few years. Once you're done getting suitably (post)modern with our list of slang, be sure to try the quiz at the end of the article!
Popular Slang Words
Here is a list of 15 popular slang words that are fast becoming a part of everyday lingo for the young and hip:
- Basic - One who is "basic" is unimpressive or boring, typically conforming to mainstream trends like pumpkin spice. "God, he comes to every party in the exact same outfit. He's so basic."
- Chillax - Chillax is a portmanteau, fusing the words "chill" and "relax." The combination means just to calm down. "Don't worry about the exam, just chillax and come to the party."
- Destroy - Much like "sick" below, "destroy" is a slang term with an opposite meaning. To destroy a thing means to do very well. "I destroyed that exam! A plus, baby!"
- Extra - To be "extra" is to be flamboyant or over the top. "Coming to the prom in white tie, tails and a top hat? He's so extra."
- Ghost - To suddenly ignore someone, often on social media or the Internet generally. "Breaking up is one thing, but you can't just ghost her. That's not cool."
- Glow-up: A major improvement in someone's looks or overall mood. Glow-ups are often given to or with friends. "We gotta give Kim a major glow-up before the party. She looks so tired after work."
- Mood - Something relatable, something the speaker can empathize with. "Jake sleeping with his work uniform still on is such a mood."
- Receipts - No less than with the IRS, if you've got receipts, you've got proof. "Oh, he's trying to say he wasn't hitting on Sara last night? Because I got receipts on Insta."
- Salty - Upset, grouchy, annoyed. "He always gets so salty when he loses at League of Legends."
- Shade - "Shade" is subtle, understated disrespect, or to show such disrespect. Showing such disrespect can be phrased "throwing shade" or just "shading." "He went for the kiss and she shook his hand instead! That is such shade."
- Shook - If you're "shook," you're unsettled, discomfited, off your game. "That movie got me shook! I'm sleeping with the lights on."
- Sick - Slang words often mean the opposite of their conventional meaning. In this case, something "sick" is actually cool or good. "This neighborhood is sick! There are so many great clubs out here."
- Slaps - When something is cool or good, it "slaps." Usually it's a song that slaps, but anything sufficiently cool can do so. "Yo, did you see Ashton's new car? That thing slaps!"
- Slay - If you "slay," you're doing great at something or succeeding spectacularly. It's always a verb: one is not "slay," one "slays." "Slay, girl! Your dress looks amazing!"
- Snack - Also spelled "snacc," this one applies to a person who looks good. It's generally a romantic rather than friendly observation, so slang carefully. "Jake is such a snack in his new shirt and tie!"
Before you go on to learn some new slang words, take our slang quiz based on the words listed above.
Gabriel studies every night. I told him that he needs to _________ and take a break once in a while.
Jake's band played a ________ show at Shakespeare's last night. The crowd loved him!
Ever since we broke up, Mike's been acting like we were never together. I got _________, honey. You can't just ignore me.
Alex threw some _______ at Mike for ignoring his ex.
She totally ________ in that gorgeous new dress.
Sorry I got ________ when you beat my high score. I get too competitive sometimes.
I'm gonna wear a ball gown, feather boa and stilettos to the party. Sometimes you have to be a little ______.
This next test has me a little ________. I'm going to study all night.
I kinda _________ Steve this week. Put him on mute and ignored all his Snapchats. I'll get in touch with him soon.
I played Ke$ha at my gym tonight to get hyped. She's such a _______.
The Power of Slang
New slang can sometimes seem awkward and alien, but it's the sign of an active, thriving language. Words evolve as slang is used, misused, forgotten and revived. For more on modern American slang, check out our slang dictionary and read up on the history of American slang.
Slay, girl! Your dress looks amazing!