23 New Slang Words You’ll Be Hearing More of in 2020
Yolt is the new yeet. Brush up on these unofficial vocab words.
Can you hang?
Want to up your cool factor? Be a hipster? Understand the youths? Become a venture capitalist (or just sound like one)? Or maybe you’re just looking for some more creative ways to insult people? We’ve got you covered with this list of slang words you need to know this year. And you know these slang words are legit because when I read them to my three teenagers to make sure I was using them correctly, they said, and I quote, “Big yikes, mom! This is the cringiest thing I’ve ever heard.” To which I replied, “…OK, Zoomer.” I win. If you missed last year’s list, here are the 30 slang words from 2019 we love.
Sounds like a you problem
Have you ever had someone vent to you or ask for your help and you weren’t sure how to say no politely? Well, don’t say this. This is a retort used to wake someone else up to the fact that they are responsible for their own drama and not to involve you—in the least empathetic way possible.
Someone “snapping” used to mean they had reached their breaking point and had an emotional outburst (usually anger). These days, however, if someone tells you that you’re snappin’, it’s actually a compliment, meaning that you look really well put together. Looking for something a little more conventional? Try one of these 52 little compliments guaranteed to make anyone smile.
Spilling the tea
Got the insider scoop on some really good gossip? If you share it then you’re spilling the tea. Often used by YouTubers to get more clicks from people who are dying to know a secret (that is available for the entire internet to hear). Also, maybe check out these 11 tips to stop being so judgy.
Being on fire, literally, is a bad thing. Being on fire, figuratively, means you’re on a roll. Being fire (again, figuratively) means you’re amazing. But if someone tells you that you’re straight fire? You’re an absolute sexy beast and you should keep doing whatever it is you’re doing. Likewise, these 13 funny compliments are sure to win anyone over.
When the word “yikes” isn’t enough to describe an unfortunate, embarrassing, or weird situation, you can pull out the “BIG yikes.” Not only does this mean all the aforementioned words but it adds an extra level of cringeworthiness. In the mood for more interesting vocab? Here are 20 words that are their own opposites.
Hey parents, these days it’s not enough to embarrass your kids. If you really do something humiliating, strange, or silly (aka something completely normal that no person other than your teen would notice) then you’re “cringey.” If this gets said to you, make sure you know 10 ways healthy people handle rejection.
That’s a choice
This is the perfect slang for when you want to acknowledge someone’s decision while still being mildly disapproving. For the ultimate in passive-aggressiveness, say it with as little emotion as possible. Find out the brand new words added to the dictionary in 2019.
It may sound like snakes trapped in a paper bag but whether this is texted or said aloud, it’s a new way of saying something is funny by signifying laughter. It’s most commonly used by VSCO girls. And hey, it works, because it’s nearly impossible to say with a straight face. Or just check out these 50 funny animal pictures that are guaranteed giggles.
The humble punctuation mark, the period, has been going through an evolution thanks to texting. It used to be that it was just proper punctuation at the end of a sentence but now most of the time people don’t bother adding it on—unless they want to really emphasize something. Saying or texting “periodt” is the verbal equivalent. It means “and this is final, I’ve proved my point”! Do you know the 13 rules of texting etiquette?
Last year we were introduced to “mood,” as in “that’s a mood,” to describe a picture that evokes a powerful and relatable feeling. This year, because nothing can be simple, we’ve upped the ante by adding a misspelling to it. It’s the same slang, just somehow cooler? Find out the slang words you didn’t know were in the dictionary.
“Oof” is the catchphrase of a character on the popular game Roblox, used when he makes a mistake. (Apparently he’s from the Midwest? Oof-da!) Kids have taken it offline and now saying “big oof” means you made a slightly bigger mistake. It’s a mix between saying “my bad” and “facepalm.” Do you know the origins of these popular slang words?
The D List
You’ve heard of A-list, B-list, and even C-list celebs but where do you go when you need to describe someone below reality TV stars? Straight to the D-list. These are people just famous on Instagram or YouTube and are only known for being influencers…of something. Find out 16 more text abbreviations you really need to know by now.
Ever posted something online for free only to discover how many people want to argue with you about a free gift? “Can you deliver that free couch to me?” “Can you throw in the TV in the picture too?” It comes from the old adage of “beggars can’t be choosers” and shows you how they very much will still try. The worst part is choosey beggars often get insulting fast. “You’re a terrible person and you deserve to die—the only thing my child dying of cancer wanted for his birthday was your TV! And your Xbox! For free!”
What happens when a bunch of well-meaning people try to “out virtue” everyone else to prove what a good person they are. Eventually, it turns into the worst kind of echo chamber where only the most extreme views are rewarded and anyone who tries to disagree or add nuance is attacked.
This is an acronym for “bathroom time off,” meaning the breaks you take during your workday to “go to the bathroom” but instead of just doing bathroom stuff you’re surfing the web, playing candy crush, sexting, or otherwise just chilling on the porcelain throne and avoiding your responsibilities.
First, there were Boomers, then came “OK boomer” (as a snide comeback to an older person), and now we have a name for the generation of people saying “OK boomer”—the Zoomers, or generation Z. It is a beautiful irony that Zoomers are now linked through rhyme to the older generation. Meanwhile, Gen X and Gen Y are running the country. Can someone please make a witty limerick now?
Anyone with hormones is familiar with the concept of feeling horny but in this day of Tinder hookups, people are craving something more personal. Saying you’re “heart horny” means you’re not just looking for sex but are desiring a real romantic connection. Awww! Make sure you know these 10 slang words used on dating sites.
Add this to the long, long list of ways to say someone is high! If there’s one consistent thing about drugs across the board, it’s that it makes people get really creative in describing doing them. Slang for drugs is often regional, like these slang words only people from your state will understand.
Good vibes only
In a time where negativity and bad news spews like an open firehose from the Internet, it makes sense that people are craving a little space for positivity. If that’s you, proclaim “Good vibes only!” to let others know that you need a break from all the bad stuff. Then put your headphones in and slowly walk away. With roots in the ’70s, this could be one of the vintage slang words that need to be brought back.
Just like you’d snip the ending off of a bad scene in a movie, now you can clip out the bad parts of your movie reel of life. Or at least you can try by using this word. Saying something is “clipped” means that a situation or event is totally over, with no hope of redemption, the end.
Weird flex but okay
Flexing on someone is a way to one-up or prove you are better than someone else but by using it in this phrase, you’re expressing surprise at the strange way someone chose to try to beat you. Or try one of these 11 words that capture feelings you didn’t even know you had.
Potatoes are delicious but make no mistake if someone calls you this, you’re anything but tasty. Calling someone a potato means they’re too dumb to be sentient while also being incredibly boring. Sad bonus: Calling yourself a potato means you think you are unattractive and your body is shapeless and lumpy. Get a look at these 11 words and phrases that used to be insults but are now compliments.