Learning a New Language

Me? I'm Learning Millennial Speak

Learning a new language

Among the most popular pandemic goals people have set: learning a new language. Some are focusing on Spanish. Others French. Not me. I’ve set my sights on something truly exotic — Millennial-speak. And I swear, by the end of our sheltering-in-place days, I’m going to be so hip, errr, I mean, woke, you won’t know me!

I could have opted to learn Hebrew or even the Yiddish of my grandparents. But instead, I’m looking forward and learning (re-learning?) how to communicate with the younger generation. More specifically, I’m hoping to better communicate with my own children!

Sadly, lately, it seems I live more in the Tower of Babel than a normal house. By way of example: just before the COVID-19 shutdown, I treated my kids to pricy tickets for a concert by one of their favorite musicians. I thought they’d be overjoyed. Their response suggested otherwise.

Instead of a thrilled “Hurrah” or “Wow,” I was mystified to hear “Yaas,” “Dank,” and “Wig.”


I looked those “words” up and, to my relief, discovered that “wig” signified excitement and pleasure. Ditto “yaas.”

“Dank” took a little longer to find but it means very cool.

Hallelujah! Errr. I mean, yaas!

So, right then and there I got serious about learning Millennial-speak. No more would I be caught short by M-slang. No longer would I not understand my own children!

And, as it turned out, it was a wise decision for a second reason.

I had long been sus (translation: suspicious) that when my kids whisper, they talk trash and spill tea (translation: gossip) about me and my husband, but because of the language gap, I was never sure. Now, since I’m hip to the lingo, I’m hundo p (translation: 100% percent) certain that’s exactly what’s been going on.

But now, thanks to my new linguistic savvy, I’m never going to let some “Millie” whipper snapper throw shade (translation: make a subtly mean comment) at me!

And because it’s the holiday season, I want to share my new-found expertise with you in the Battle of the Middle-aged Bulge aka the War of the Oldsters versus the Hipsters. Here are some of the key Millennial slang words and phrases you need to carry on and stay dank (reminder: very cool).

M-Slang 101

Let’s start easy. Relax. Take a deep breath. You may already know these terms!

  • Canceled – To reject something because it’s no longer trendy.
  • Ghost – When you completely disappear after hanging out and showing interest
  • Trolls – Someone who purposely tries to provoke others, as in Internet trolls
    Comment: Today’s trolls are a long way from the cute/ugly little dolls we played with. Today’s trolls are just ugly.
  • Squad – A group of friends
    Comment: I thought “posse” was the “in” term. But it’s “out.” Careful about this.
  • AF – An acronym for “as f@#k.”
  • Hangry – When you are angry because you are so hungry.
    Comment: Good news on this one. Even though the word is slang, there’s “real science” behind the combined emotion of hungry + angry. So, when the urge is there, release your inner hangry!

M-Slang 101: Second Semester

Hang in there. You’re doing good. Here are a couple of terms for you stylish (and sarcastic) middle-aged moms.

  • On fleek – Fashionable
  • Clap back – A comeback filled with attitude
  • Damn, Gina – Expresses surprise or approval
    Comment: This phrase harkens back to Martin Lawrence’s ‘90s sitcom Martin, in which he’d regularly use the phrase when addressing his wife Gina (Tisha Campbell-Martin).

M-Slang: Advanced Level

In California, we’re hunkering down for a second round of sheltering in place. So, I’ve cracked open my study books again. Here are some of the latest Millennial slang terms I’ve learned. Warning! As my Grandma would have said, they’re doozies.

  • Shook – To be shaken up by something, for better or worse.
    Sample sentence: Junior, I was “shook” when you spoke to your Mother and me in that disrespectful tone.
  • Receipts – Asking someone to show you the receipts essentially means you want proof.
    Cautionary Comment: While using this term with your kids might be dank, I don’t recommend you lawyers use it in a court of law. Of course, it all depends on how woke your judge is.
  • TBH – Stands for “to be honest.” This is often used for emphasis, especially when admitting something about yourself.
    Example: TBH, I don’t think I’ll ever get the hang of Millennial-speak. I can barely remember that the word “Millennial” has two l’s and two m’s.
  • Basic – Anything mainstream is basic.
    Example: Mom jeans are sadly basic.
  • Bruh – Another way of saying “seriously?”
    Comment: I don’t get this one at all. I’m just including it in case your child says it and you’re wondering what the hell they’re muttering.

Stop in the Name of Proper English!

I know, your brain and love of proper English are screaming “Stop.” I hear and respect your plaintive plea. This whole M-slang thing is driving me cray, I mean, crazy too! I was feeling positively Gucci, I mean good until I started up M-slang studies again this month. It’s really GMT, I mean getting me tight, I mean getting me upset!

Wait! I can stop. I can get in control. OK. I’ll just take a break and look at my phone. Oh, no. I’m sorry I was just phubbing, looking at my phone instead of looking at you!

Oh, no! I’m too old to be learning a new language especially one as cray/crazy as Millennial slang!

😀 🤔 😀

But if you want to learn more Millennial slant, check out “77 Millennial Slang Words That Will Have You Shook” and  “Everything you ever wanted to know about millennial slang but were afraid to ask.”

And if you missed my story on emojis, well … read it here.

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