You might think of idioms as classic sayings that everyone knows — "raining cats and dogs," "talking until you're blue in the face," "getting cold feet." But idioms aren’t exclusively created by generations past. In the age of the internet, new idioms spring up all the time, and you might be surprised at how many you know (even if you wish you didn’t).
"That’s the tea"
No, this doesn’t refer to actual tea. The phrase originated in drag culture, and “tea” or “T” refers to the truth. The phrase has grown to refer to the intense gossip and drama that plagues the internet. If someone says, “That’s the tea,” it usually means that they’ve just posted a juicy piece of gossip that people will discuss longer than necessary.
"Flexing on Insta"
You might see plenty of folks flexing their muscles and posting their workout progress in Instagram photos, but that’s not what we’re talking about here. If you’re "flexing on Insta" — or anywhere else online — you’re showing off, and you’re not being graceful about it. You're making sure everyone thinks you’re living the high life, even if it's not really the T. Sorry, not sorry.
"Show me the receipts"
Keeping receipts is kind of like “pics or it didn’t happen.” If you ask someone for their receipts, you’re saying that if they don’t have proof, they might as well be lying. Collecting receipts is how you cover yourself online and dispel any doubt against you. It’s like a courtroom, but exclusively on social media.
"Slide into DMs"
If you’re sliding into someone’s DMs, you probably haven’t talked to them before. More often than not, this phrase is used when someone’s asking if they can talk to you privately, or when that person invites you to talk to them in DMs (direct messages). You usually hear it on Twitter or Instagram, but it’s not uncommon on Facebook either. That slide into DMs is usually accompanied by some sort of come-on, so be wary when that notification pops up.
"Fake news" has become a common refrain in our current political climate, but we already had a word for it — propaganda. "Fake news" is a snarkier way to say that someone is spreading misinformation and trying to pass it off as the truth. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.
"Left on read"
Admit it. You’ve done this. You've seen someone’s text, but you didn’t reply to it. Maybe you forgot, but more likely, you saw the message and didn’t feel like answering. It could be that guy you went on a date with and never want to see again, your mom asking you to come over, or your boss asking you to work on your day off. Avoid this shame altogether and turn off your read receipts.