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12 Old and New Slang Words That Sound Kind of Silly

The English language is full of especially resilient words that have barely changed over the course of centuries, but there are also those less fortunate words in English that didn’t manage to withstand the test of time. Among the most fleeting but also fascinating parts of every language is slang. Every generation and every decade has its own “lingo”, so much so that the slang you use can often reveal your approximate age.
On top of it all, what is considered “hip” for one generation may sound embarrassing for another. Or, as kids these days would phrase it, old slang is “cringeworthy”. In this article, we’d like to focus on precisely those awkward and funny-sounding slang words other generations simply cannot accept. We’ve collected 11 phrases starting from Victorian times all the way to the present day so that all of us could have a good laugh and learn some fascinating new words, too!

1. Nothingburger (2020)

Funny Slang nothingburger
Let's kick off this list with one of the most recent slang word, which was only added to the dictionary in 2020, so chances are you haven't even heard of it until now. So, what does it mean to call something a nothingburger? According to Dictionary.com, a nothingburger is “an often highly publicized event or situation that is said to have less impact or significance than expected.” To put it simply, though, a nothingburger is something that's irrelevant or underwhelming.

2. Take a chill pill (1980s)

Funny Slang Take a chill pill (1990s)
The 1980s were a time of very special and often surprising lingo with fascinating origins. The phrase "take a chill pill", which essentially means "calm down", for example, originated in the early 1980s when the Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) was first discovered and recognized. As a result, the first medications to treat ADHD were invented, and these meds came to be known as "chill pills" because they had a calming effect - hence, the term 'take a chill pill'.

3. Applesauce (1920s)

Funny Slang  Applesauce (1920s)
When someone is full of baloney, they are talking nonsense, but before the bologna sandwich was even invented, there was another word to mean the same thing. Back in the 1920s, you could say that someone is 'full of applesauce', which would mean that they are saying something ridiculous, for example.

4. Giggle water (1920s)

Funny Slang Giggle water (1920s)
During Prohibition, any intoxicating beverage, but especially champagne, could be called giggle water, most likely because alcohol has a tendency to make people giggle and laugh. Of course, most of us would not call it that these days, knowing all of the havoc it can wreak in the human body and its addictive tendencies.

5. YOLO (the early 2000s)

Funny Slang YOLO (the early 2000s)
YOLO is an acronym for "you only live once", and it truly was one of the most commonly used online slang terms of the early 2000s. Truth be told, however, most people have never used it in real life un-sarcastically, and many would say that it sounds kind of embarrassing and silly when uttered out loud. 

6. Wisenheimer (1900s)

Funny Slang Wisenheimer (1900s)
Have you ever wondered what you would call a know-it-all in the 1900s? A "witty" way of saying it would be calling someone a 'wisenheimer', which is a play on the word wise- and surnames like Oppenheimer and Guggenheimer. Another word you could use is no less entertaining - you could call them 'a smart Aleck'!

7. Ankle-biter (1950s)

Funny Slang Ankle-biter (1950s)
Calling a child 'an ankle-biter' isn't particularly widely-accepted today, especially since the phrase is also used to refer to a small dog. The phrase was first recorded in the 19th century, in Harper's Magazine: "And how are you, John? and how's Molly, and all the little ankle-biters?" After that, the term vanished for over a century, re-emerging and gaining widespread use in the 1950s.

8. Let's bounce! (1990s)

Funny Slang Let's bounce! (1990s)
It used to be really cool back in the 90s to just say "let's bounce" when it's time for you and your companions to go. However, these days, it sounds pretty silly, and people who grew up in the 80s and earlier are likely also quite skeptical of this phrase. As for the origins of the word, they are quite blurry.

9. Unmentionables (1910s and earlier)

Funny Slang Unmentionables (1910s)
In Victorian times, mentioning underwear in public circles was considered scandalous, and instead, the word 'unmentionables' was born. The earliest written definition of the word dates back all the way to 1833, as "that may not be or should not be mentioned." Today, the word is only used ironically, and we must admit, it's one of the funniest ones on the list.

10. Awesomesauce (2020)

Funny Slang Awesomesauce (2020)
Here is another fresh slang word, but it certainly has a vintage flair, won't you agree? According to the Oxford English Dictionary, awesomesauce means “extremely good; excellent.” So, if you really liked a cute animal video, for example, you could say: “that video is awesomesauce!”

11. Talk to the hand (1990s)

Funny Slang Talk to the hand (1990s)

This phrase is associated with 1990s teens, and it likely originated as a sarcastic remark, pointing out that one does not want to listen to the person who is speaking. It's an expression of annoyance and basically means "shut up", and so it sounds quite embarrassing, unpleasant, and silly in a real-life these days.

Share these silly slang words with others, too!

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