The Brief: Some of the most popular slang words and phrases of 2018 can seem absurd and confusing at first glance. Here's a guide to the origins and definitions of these terms.
Language and the internet are deeply intertwined. The intersections between communication, humor, and meme culture have led to some outright bizarre and confusing terms entering everyday conversations, both online and IRL. Here is a guide to some of the most perplexing popular words and phrases of 2018…just in time for all the new slang 2019 will inevitably bring.
At the crux of this term is the word flex, which means show off, like if someone were to show off by flexing their muscles. “Weird flex but ok” is a way to respond to something strange, random, or braggy. It’s often used somewhat sarcastically and is a ubiquitous response that can be made to almost anything.
In this scenario, bread is money. This phrase is a way to get hyped up about going to work, or to make puns about actual bread and “this bread.” It went viral in October when many people used it as a way to vent about how exhausting the daily grind can be.
This is a phrase used to say “nope” or to shut a comment down. It’s simultaneously polite and sassy.
Stan was first coined by Eminem in 2000 in a song about an overzealous, obsessed fan – a stan. Eighteen years later, stan is a common way for fans to refer to themselves, especially in Kpop fandom communities.
BDE, “big dick energy,” refers to the aura of someone with the self-assurance and a certain je ne sais quoi of someone with a large penis. In June, the term was invented and went viral on Twitter. This has been used to describe celebrities, both men and women, including Anthony Bourdain, Pete Davidson, Rihanna, and Diplo.
Ligma is a juvenile wordplay prank and pseudo-disease. Internet trolls spread rumors that Ninja was suffering from a disease called Ligma. This, of course, prompted many people to ask the obvious question: “what’s Ligma?” to which pranksters would respond “Ligma balls!”
Emotes are downloadable dance moves within the video game Fortnite. These emotes, somewhat controversially, are often taken from viral dance trends, and have even been incorporated into some NFL victory dances.
Unfortunately for dentists, this is not that kind of flossing. It’s a dance move popularized by a teenager known as “backpack kid” that involves some hip rocking and arm swinging. It’s now a Fortnite emote as well.
Mukbangs, ASMR-like videos of people eating have been popular in Korea for a while before. Now an international YouTube staple.
Uwu is not actually a word at all, but a “cute face” emoticon. Its use can be more general, as a way to express happiness. Sometimes people say it out loud, to mean that they like someone or are happy, although its pronunciation is up to debate and is the subject of memes.
Self-care has been a major buzzword this year. It can refer to pretty much anything related to spending time to benefit one’s physical and/or mental health. It can refer to wearing sheet face masks, drinking water meditation, exercise, or any other way that people take care of themselves.
To have one’s wig snatched means to be surprised, amazed, or shocked. This term, which was popularized by drag queens, can refer to something positive or negative that causes someone to be shook – as if their wig were snatched off their head.
To stop or grab someone’s bag means to prevent them from making money or succeeding. In 2018, Nicki Minaj embraced the title of “bag stopper” – a reference to her career success and competition with Cardi B.
In the constantly-changing lexicon of the present day, slang terms can go viral, spreading quickly across the globe via social media. Some terms may be popular only briefly before fizzling out. Some of the most popular slang of 2018 may soon be outdated and irrelevant but Stay Hipp is here to help you stay informed and up-to-date on whatever comes next.