Today’s universities are abound with new innovations, creativity, and deep academic study that is preparing the minds of today’s college student for tomorrow. You’ve heard that excellence, honor, and distinction are the three pillars of higher education, but talking about it all is getting more convoluted. Rooted deeply in the campus culture today is a language that may seem foreign to anyone living outside the campus bubble. You hear the words and may even recognize them, but the definitions can be bewildering.
A closer look into the lexicon of today’s youth shows that the language spoken among their peers is quite apt at defining their feelings and everyday life circumstances. Companies wanting to advertise to college students might be tempted to use these words in their marketing in an effort to demonstrate how much they “get” them. Doing so, however, can be fraught with the risk of appearing painfully hip if you do it wrong.
Brands looking to adopt today’s youth slang words should study them, no how to spell them, and have some practice using them in a sentence before committing them to their advertising copy. Feel like you are back in school yet?
While this list is by no means comprehensive, it should get you on your way.
BAE - acronym
A term of endearment one uses for his/her significant other - Acronym for “Before Anyone Else”
Basic - adjective
Describes a person lacking a unique, extraordinary, creative identity because they are so into the norm and mainstream lifestyle.
“Yoga pants, Uggs, and holding a starbucks latte- could that girl get any more basic?”
#blessed - noun
Millennials have taken the actual meaning of “blessing” and assigned it to ridiculous events that have gone their way/ that they are happy about.
“My roommate just let me eat all of her chipotle leftovers #blessed”
“When you order 5 shots and they accidentally give you 6 #blessed”
Bye Felicia - phrase
When someone says they’re leaving and you could really care less; no one is sad to see this person go. (Reference to Felicia in the movie “Friday”)
Chipmunking - verb
The act of watching numerous recorded university lectures at 2x speed in a futile attempt to cover an entire semester’s worth of class material the day before a final exam.
“I can’t go out tonight, I’ll be chipmunking all these physics lectures for my final tomorrow
Curve - verb
Rejecting someone. The act of withholding or rejecting sex from an individual who has the intentions of having relations with you.
DIAF - acronym
Shorthand for Die in a Fire. Commonly used in text, forums, or video game play
Dipset - verb
To leave a place; to “bounce” -- “This party’s lame, I think I’m gonna dipset”
For Days - adjective
A phrase college students use to describe an excess of anything at all (not limited to describing length of time)
“My mom just took me on a shopping spree at Target. New towels for days!!!”
“I have homework for days tonight”
GOAT - acronym
Standing for “Greatest of all Time,” typically used to describe a prominent athlete, musician, or actor.
“It’s about time Leo DiCaprio wins an Oscar, he is the GOAT”
Ghosting - verb
When one abruptly ceases all communication with a person they have been on dates with but does not wish to pursue further.
“Do you think you’ll go out with her again?”
“No she totally ghosted me, hasn’t responded to my texts in over a week”
GWOP - Acronym
Slang term for cash. It stands for “George Washington On Paper”
Insta Prime Time - noun
Refers to day of week & time of day for peak Instagram posting-- for the self conscious poster who is looking for maximum “likes.”
Key to Success - noun
Inspired from DJ Khaled’s popular snap chat videos -- short “Ted Talks” style videos with many keys to success that will lead you on the pathway to greatness.
Lit - adjective
Used to describe something that is exciting, great, and amazing!
Manspreading - noun
When men take up extra space in public seating areas with their wide-legged sitting positions
Merp - expression
A word used to fill an awkward silence. Can also be used as an expression of sadness or to change the conversation.
Netflix and Chill - verb
A term you use when you want your significant other to come over but you have other, more intimate intentions in mind….. Synonymous with bootycall….
No Chill - adjective
The Millennial slang way to describe someone who is blowing something way out of proportion; acting irrationally
Example: Anything Kanye West ever does or says
“Did you see her throw her drink on that guy at the bar? No chill!”
On Fleek - adjective
Synonymous with “on-point,” describing a people. Places or things of perfection.
“Blake Lively’s outfit was on fleek tonight”
Peegret - Remorse for leaving the bar without relieving oneself.
“Molly had to squat behind a bush to deal with her peegret”
Phubbing - verb
Phone + Snubbing - snubbing someone in public by constantly looking at your phone instead of paying attention to them.
PSL - acronym/noun
Pumpkin Spice Latte. See also: Basic. The poster drink for Millennial females in the Fall.
Salty - adjective
A word Millennials and College students use to describe being in a bad mood, or angry about something. Angry, Grumpy, Mopey, etc.
S’cute - phrase
How Millennials shorten the already brief phrase “so cute”
“Look at our selfie! We are s’cute!”
Selfie - noun
A photograph of oneself, taken by oneself. Typically taken with a front facing camera on a mobile or tablet device.
Squad Goals - noun
A group (usually celebrities) that a Millennial and his/her friend group deeply desires to emulate
Thirsty - adjective
Describes someone who is desperate and/or overly eager
Throw Shade - verb
Publicly talking trash about a friend or acquaintance in a way that makes you look worse than the person you are denouncing or disrespecting.
Trolling - verb
Using cynical and sarcastic remarks against others on the internet
“My followers are trolling so hard lately! I swear I can’t tweet ANYTHING these days!”
Turnt - adjective
A Millennial synonym for “hyped” but often includes liquor consumption.
“Are we about to get turnt at the club tonight?”
“That concert was so turnt last night!”
What are those?!? - phrase
A phrase that spread rapidly, based on a Vine video in which a citizen light heartedly ridiculed a police officer’s pair of less-than-attractive shoes. WHAT ARE THOOOOOOOOOOOOOSE?!?!?!?!?!
Woke - adjective
Aware of current events and social issues
If you think your brand needs help understanding the college market more, contact us by clicking here. We can help you create college marketing strategies that ressonate with today's youth.