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17 Slang Terms Invented Online Everyone Uses Nowadays

 Each generation has its own slang, with phrases like ‘nerd’ and ‘split the scene’ having originated in 1950’s slang, for example. Both of the phrases sound very normal to us today, which goes to show how slang drives language change and urges the creation of new words and phrases. But when it comes to creating and popularizing new words, modern online culture is by far the most productive, as texting and social media instantly connects people globally on a whole new scale.
The result? A whole lot of new words and phrases used everywhere that are absolutely incomprehensible for those who don’t use social media a whole lot. That’s exactly why we thought it might be useful to compile a mini glossary of 17 online slang words that we see everywhere these days.

1. Tea

 Slang Terms Invented Online tea
Meaning: We hear people talking an awful lot about tea nowadays. Alas, this has nothing to do with the increased popularity of the beverage. Instead, 'tea' is code for gossip, and 'spilling the tea' is synonymous with gossiping.
Example Sentence: I heard some tea about Friday night!


 Slang Terms Invented Online GOAT
Meaning: Surprise, this word has nothing to do with the actual animal either. The word is an acronym for "the greatest of all time", and it actually comes from sports slang of the 1900s that reemerged and came to be widely used online in the past few years.
Example Sentence: These shoes are GOAT!

3. Facepalm

 Slang Terms Invented Online sculpture Facepalm
Meaning: 'Facepalm' is not so much a word, but rather the act of being so embarrassed that it makes you cover your face with your hand, especially as a result of someone doing something monumentally awkward or stupid. 
Example Sentence: Today, John locked his keys in his car again. Facepalm.

4. Extra

 Slang Terms Invented Online dog is a colorful feather scarf
Meaning: 'Extra' is an adjective used to describe someone or something excessive, over the top or dramatic. The word can have both a positive and negative connotation.
Example Sentence: I can't believe she wears a full face of makeup to the gym. She's so extra.

5. Salty

 Slang Terms Invented Online salt shaker
Meaning:​ Being salty is another adjective, one that means that someone is being upset or annoyed, often over a minor issue.
Example Sentence: Stop being so salty, all I did is take a small sip of your coffee.

6. Snail Mail

 Slang Terms Invented Online mailbox
Meaning: In a world of instant messaging and e-mail, internet users started calling regular mailing services 'snail mail' to emphasize how it sometimes takes days or even weeks for a letter or package to arrive, in contrast with online communication.
Example Sentence: I sent my mom a Christmas card through snail mail, I hope it will arrive in time for the holidays.

7. Derp

 Slang Terms Invented Online funny dog
Image Source: Christi Gain/ Flickr
Meaning: 'Derp' is an exclamation one makes in response to someone being very silly or clumsy, like in all those hilarious animal videos we often share. In a sense, 'derp' is an updated version of 'duh'. The word can also be turned into a verb or adjective, as in our example. 
Example Sentence: Haha, that dog in the picture looks really derpy! 

8. Low Key

 Slang Terms Invented Online secret
Meaning: The meaning of this word is the closest to 'kind of' or 'secretively'. The origins of the term are unknown, but it's believed to come from hip hop culture.
Example Sentence: I'm going to have a salad for lunch, but I'm low key craving cookies.

9. Lit

 Slang Terms Invented Online man in hat holding firework
Meaning: This particular adjective actually has two meanings. The first meaning refers to an object, such as a gathering or occasion being fun or exciting, but when you're using it to describe a person, it can also mean drunk or intoxicated.
Example Sentence: 'I went to a concert last night and it was lit!' or 'I went to a concert with a friend last night and he was way too lit!'

10. Lurker

 Slang Terms Invented Online cat playing
Meaning: Lurking in the early days of the internet meant that someone was just reading or watching content online, without posting, commenting, reposting or otherwise interacting with the content. And while people still use this word in that sense, the word 'lurker' can also refer to a person who is always present in a social situation, but never says anything.
Example Sentence: That guy always comes to work meetings, but he never speaks up, he's such a lurker.

11. Nightmare Fuel

 Slang Terms Invented Online woman having insomnia
Meaning: Online, nightmare fuel is content, such as stories, videos, and pictures that are disturbing, traumatizing, and are guaranteed to give you nightmares. However, the phrase can also mean stressful or irritating situations and experiences in real life.
Example Sentence: I stopped watching the news every evening since it's pure nightmare fuel.

12. Stan

 Slang Terms Invented Online fans on a concert
Meaning: There fans, and there are stans, with the latter being so overzealous and obsessive it's disturbing. The word can be traced back to Eminem's rap lyrics, where he uses the word 'Stan' to describe a crazed fan who's willing to go to extreme lengths to support a celebrity. The word can also be used as a verb.
Example Sentence: Everyone in my family is a die-hard Lord of the Rings stan.

13. TLDR

 Slang Terms Invented Online boy falling asleep in class
Meaning: 'TLDR' or 'TL;DR' is another acronym, it means 'too long; didn't read'. Initially, this acronym was used when someone wrote an overly verbose text that you're too lazy to read or didn't have the time or motivation to digest. Interestingly, this term seems to be applied more and more in live conversations these days in response to a story that's too long and boring.
Example Sentence: This is just a lot of filler text, it doesn't actually mean anything. TLDR.

14. JK

 Slang Terms Invented Online cat happy funny
Meaning: 'JK' is probably one of those acronyms that permeated everyday life the most, even more than the infamous LOL. We hear people just say 'JK' instead of the proper 'just kidding' all the time, excessively and constantly.
Example Sentence: I think that cat looks like it's about to sneeze, JK I actually think it's really cute.

15. FOMO

 Slang Terms Invented Online man on the phone
Meaning: This is the last acronym on this list, we promise. FOMO is an important one, as it actually reflects one of the dark sides of the online world. Literally, FOMO is an acronym for 'fear of missing out', but it is actually linked to patterns of very real social anxiety patterns and psychological dependence on the internet.
With people spending an increasing number of hours online every day, the internet becomes their main platform for social interactions, and when they are offline, they sometimes feel deprived of all the fun content and discussions they could have had, which is what FOMO is. Naturally, the term also migrated to the physical world, and you can also experience FOMO when you miss out on any opportunity, really.
Example Sentence: Mary was really tired after work, but then FOMO got the best of her and she went to the party anyway.

16. Dumpster Fire

 Slang Terms Invented Online Dumpster Fire
Image Source: Ben Watts/ Flickr
Meaning: You probably heard this phrase before, especially if you're a sports fan or read the news, but few people know that it actually originated only in the mid-2000s to describe a horrible music performance. Most definitely, the meaning of this phrase, too, expanded quite a bit, as today when something is a complete disaster, especially due to poor planning or execution, it's a dumpster fire. Think of it as a synonym to 'train wreck'.
Example Sentence: Dumpster fire is the kindest thing I can say about yesterday's football game.

17. Receipts

 Slang Terms Invented Online receipt
Meaning: The humble receipt, too, became the subject of online slang, and we hear people asking for receipts more and more lately. But what they need isn't the check you got from the grocery store, as 'receipts' refers to evidence, especially in an argument or while gossiping.
The term goes back to an interview with Whitney Houston with Diane Sawyer, during which Whitney asked Diane to provide receipts regarding her drug use allegations. 
Example Sentence: I know Emma is cheating on her husband and I've got all the receipts to prove it. 
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