9 slang terms you need to stop saying

3 min read

Despite what scholars and certain grammarians may say, slang is a good thing. It binds communities together with colloquial commonalities, and in many cases makes language more efficient. Slang words can help you connect with others if you’re aware of their context, but some popular terms are best left out of your vocabulary.

We present nine words that you can go ahead remove from your vocabulary today. They may have fallen out of fashion over the years, or their true origin isn’t as fun as previously thought. There’s certainly nothing wrong with updating your language so you can communicate clearly, but at a certain point, keeping up with slang can mean perpetually setting yourself up for failure. Here are nine slang terms to avoid.

Feels

Maybe you have “all the feels” after watching a Pixar movie, but there’s no reason why you can’t elaborate on your feelings. Instead of using “feels,” try melancholy, exhilarated, contemptuous, euphoric, or despondent. The whole collection of adjectives is open to you — so don't be lazy.

Basic

You know her. That girl with her oversized scarf and sunglasses, sipping on her PSL (pumpkin spice latte for those out of the loop), and chatting away on her earbuds. She’s basic. But that term is usually used in a mocking fashion. Instead of making fun, get to know that basic girl and you might find a more apt descriptor to use.

Hashtag

We love a hashtag to express ourselves on Instagram and Twitter. #ManCrushMondays, anyone? But you don’t need to SAY hashtag out loud. It just makes you look clueless. #PleaseStop

YOLO

An acronym for “you only live once” this phrase became trendy in 2011. While it doesn’t seem that long ago, it may be best to use this only with friends and those close to you. In the company of teenagers you’re likely to get an eyeroll for using this dated slang.

Fleek

Here’s one of those words your grandmother will have no idea how to translate. Commonly used in contexts such as “Your eyebrows are on fleek,” this means something is perfectly executed, or flawless. However, this compliment has been so overused that it’s crossed over into parody land. Just stick with a heartfelt and descriptive compliment.

Inspo

Texting isn’t too hard, but it’s normal to want to cut corners with it anyway. Inspo is internet-speak for inspiration. There’s no harm in using this short version of the word online, but it’s better to say the original world in real life.

The Man

There was once a time when you complained about authority figures, such as government officials or even parents, by calling them The Man. Gone are the days when you’d say, “The Man is keeping me from having a good time!” Take a look in the mirror because you just might be The Man yourself.

Bae

This shorthand is an acronym for “Before Anyone Else,” and was 2015’s answer to “boo.” Whether you’re referring to your best friend or your significant other, this term of endearment has passed its prime. This casual term might make your loved one think your relationship is casual, too.

Bonked

This word means you feel tired or groggy. Depending on when someone grew up, they may not understand what you mean, so it’s best that you stick to being direct or simply make jokes about how much you need a cup of coffee.

Literally


Today, literally is a word used to intensify something. “I literally died from cuteness overload!” could be a real reaction to seeing pictures of your friend’s new puppy, but you only died figuratively. Avoid triggering the grammar police and stick to the literal meaning of literally.

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