It’s almost Thanksgiving, so you know what that means.
There’s the prospect of nearly three different generations gathering around the table to cut the turkey, feast on trimmings, and catch up on life.
And that means lots can get lost in translation.
But if you’re like me, that moment has already arrived.
Back in the spring, my 10-year-old daughter tried teaching me the choreography of a new mini dance routine that had just started making the rounds on YouTube Shorts. And, apparently, whatever I was doing with my arms was all wrong.
“That’s cringe, Mom,” she said in a judgy tone.
I didn’t quite get what she was saying, but I knew it wasn’t good. “Excuse me?” I said genuinely, perplexed.
“Cringe,” she emphasized. “Like, it’s embarrassing.
Okay. Duly noted, I thought. So cringe—a verb—is now an adjective? Got it.
Don’t let this happen to you.
As we age, it can be hard enough to keep up with the latest slang as it is. Add to the mix social media and the lightning pace with which technology progresses and new words and phrases can arrive on the scene so fast, it makes our head spin.
Here are a few to make note of:
1. Glow up
This means a makeover or transformation from bad to good, as in, “I feel like I really glowed up this year because I started a great new job.”
Rumor has it, we have rapper Eminem to thank for this one: In 2000, he released The Marshall Mathers LP, on which his track, “Stan,” told a tale about an extreme fan named Stan. But in terms of slang, stan is a combination of “stalker” and “fan.” If you stan someone, it means you’re obsessed but not in a creepy way, as in, “You paid that much for concert tickets? You’re totally stanning Taylor Swift.”
It means annoyed by, upset by, or resentful of something that has been done or said, as in, “Of course I’m salty—you made fun of me in front of all our friends!”
A shortened form of “bourgeois,” this term refers to the display of ostentatious or sophisticated behavior, typically associated with a perceived middle or upper-class lifestyle. People often use it to describe someone pretentious, materialistic, or striving to portray an image of social superiority. “He’s so bougie, he’ll only order filet mignon!”
Ghostlighting is a hybrid of two concepts, gaslighting and ghosting. It references the act of someone ghosting you—which means, ceasing all communication with you—and then coming back into your life and pretending that they never ghosted you and not giving an explanation. “I can’t believe he thinks everything can go back to normal after ghostlighting me!”
Similar to glow up, this term is more focused on one’s physical appearance. If someone is looking snatched, they look really good, as in, “Hey, gorgeous, your makeup looks snatched!”
An older but still relevant term, cap means to lie, as in, “Quit capping and just tell us the truth!” However, if you say “no cap” it means you are being authentic or truthful.
8. Sip tea
Sip tea is an alternative to “spilling the tea,” meaning you’re sitting back and listening to gossip rather than partaking in it. Example: “I’m right here sippin’ tea. Please, continue with your story.”
“Trill” is an amalgamation of the words “true” and “real” and is most often used in the hip-hop community to describe a person who is widely respected, honest, and successful. As country-pop artist Kane Brown sings in his hit, “Grand”: “I always keep it trilly with the fans.”
This word is as it sounds, but it describes something that usually wouldn’t be characterized as whole, because it’s common sense to know that it is. For example: A whole person, a whole baby, a whole dog, etc. For example, “I peeked inside the carriage, and there was a whole baby staring back at me.
Something that is really good—amazingly, crazily (in a good way). As in, “Did you see that documentary? It’s fire.”
And guess what?
It’s likely that once you get these definitions down pat, they’ll be outdated. And it’ll be time to learn new ones.
Courtney Conover is wife, mom, yoga instructor, and Chicken Soup for the Soul contributor who has called Wayne home since 1995.