If you're wondering whether "bad" means bad or good, the jury's still out.
If you're wondering whether "bad" means bad or good, the jury's still out.

11 words and phrases you should know if you want to talk like a millennial

These terms and phrases will let you know what it means to throw shade, be thirsty, or have a bae

Brandt Ranj
Monday 11 April 2016 16:13

Language is constantly evolving, what's considered "groovy" yesterday may be "dope" tomorrow. If you'd like to communicate effectively with millennials you'll need to understand the way they speak.

This primer on popular millennial terms and phrases will let you know what it means to throw shade, be thirsty, or have a bae. If you're wondering whether "bad" means bad or good, the jury's still out.

On fleek

Definition: On point, excellent.

Origin: The term "on fleek" was coined in 2014 by teenage Vine user Kayla Newman. On her way to a party she referred to her eyebrows as "on fleek." Newman insists that the term wasn't pre-meditated and simply came out of her mouth.

The original Vine video can still be seen (some NSFW language).


Definition: An acronym for Before Anyone Else.

Origin: While its absolute origin is unknown, the first entry of "Bae" showed up on the popular user-submitted dictionary Urban Dictionary back on August 11, 2006. Urban Dictionary user bubbies claimed it stood for “a lover or significant other,” and at that point "bae" was likely just another way to say babe or baby.

The first instance of "bae" being used with its contemporary definition was a tweet from 2011.


Definition: An acronym standing for "Greatest of All Time"

Origin: G.O.A.T was originally used as the album title for LL Cool J's 2000 album.


Definition: A hip-hop dance move that involves raising one arm, and resting your head inside the elbow of the other arm.

Origin: Originally a hip-hop dance move from Atlanta, dabbing has come into popular culture due to its adoption by some NFL players as part of their touchdown celebrations. The title of first rapper to dab is currently being contested between Migos and OG Maco.

Netflix and chill

Definition: Inviting someone to your place for a sexual encounter.

Origin: The term "Netflix and Chill" was first coined by Twitter user @itsIsaaaaaaac on October 8, 2014. From there it began to spread on Twitter through GIFs and memes containing phrase. Netflix has largely accepted the phrase, using it in marketing materials and during social-media campaigns.


Definition: You only live once.

Origin: Although the phrase had been used as far back as 2004 when "Average Joe"contestant Adam Mesh used it on a line of clothing, it didn't reach prominence until years later. In 2011, the phrase was used by hip-hop artist Drake in his single "The Motto," which has been viewed over 50 million times on YouTube.

Throwing shade

Definition: A subtle or indirect insult aimed at someone or something

Origin: The origin of shade throwing and its evolution from a similar practice called "reading" was discussed in the 1990 documentary "Paris is Burning." It began in the drag community, but has since become a common practice.


Definition: An exclamation of extreme approval

Origin: The colloquial use of the expression comes from a video taken by a fan watching Lady Gaga exiting a building in New York City.


Definition: Drunk.

Origin: The first appearance of "turnt" appeared on UrbanDictionary on August 2, 2005 (NSFW language). However, the phrase has risen to prominence by being featured in a number of hip-hop songs, beginning in 2008 with Lupe Fiasco's "Turnt Up" through 2014 when rapper Lecrae released “I’m Turnt."

Bye Felicia

Definition: See you later.

Origin: The phrase was first used in the 1995 film "Friday," where it was uttered offhandedly (NSFW language). The phrase became a part popular culture after a YouTube video of the film clip accompanied with a Felicia-themed song became popular.


Definition: Desperately seeking the attention of other people.

Origin: The colloquial use of the word thirst comes from the penultimate track off of Soulja Boy's 2007 album, "Souljaboytellem.com" called "She Thirsty" (NSFW language).

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