Here at OdinText we’re all about understanding sentiment, emotions and opinions and linking these very human feelings to business performance. In so doing, the deeper meaning of the language customers use is an important and fascinating topic to us. Of course no part of language is more dynamic than slang.
In our annual post on trending terms we decided again this year to skip political oriented buzz words such as “fake news” and “snow flake” (the term impeachment has been on the rise), and refocus this post just on slang.
“Lit” remained in the #1 spot once again this year, followed by “Yeet” which had moved up from #10 last year.
Of greatest interest this year are two brand new words we just began tracking this year, and yet they’ve already made it onto our top 10 list! At #8 we have the term “Tea”, and in #3 we have “Drip/Dripping”, a fast moving term which may end up being one of the more popular for 2019. Do you know what they mean? [You check your answers in our definitions below]
*Bold terms are new this year
“That party was Lit yo!”
#1 Lit Holding at #1 third year in a row, Lit (like on fire) literally remains “cool” for now. It has climbed from 4th place back at beginning of 2016, it may be that its position gets challenged by something fast moving like Drip, but it would probably need to be a term with as general a meaning as cool.
I’m so excited,yeet!
#2 Yeet Surprisingly, a term that was tied for 10th last year has jumped to #2, no small feat. It’s original popularity came from a new dance move and subsequent internet video meme. But as is common with slang it can transform and take on multiple meanings. By morphing into an expletive meaning excitement, it has increased in popularity.
Wow, you drippin!
#3 Drip Drip and Dripping came out of nowhere. Drip is closely connected to Swag, Swagger, Bling and Ice, and it is quickly replacing these. It’s popularity can be traced to various rap artists who began using the term [see genius hip hop lyrics chart below showing use of Drip VS Swag etc. in lyrics].
If you’ve got enough money, gold and jewels, then you have Drip or are Dripping.
“Clean your room”
#4 Bet Bet moved from #18 to #8 last year, and is now at a solid #4. That kind of movement almost always has to do with new usage and/or inclusion into some popular lyrics or meme. Moving from a simple term indicating agreement, e.g. “want to go to the movies?” “Sure, Bet!”, bet has been changing to just mean “yes”, and then, more importantly and ironically the total opposite of agreement, meaning doubt and sarcasm or simply the opposite of what someone wants or No. “Yo can you help me clean my room” “Bet (leaves walks out of door)”. It has even come to be used as a sort of replacement to Yolo., but the newest and most popular meaning currently is as the opposite of the older meanings, a negative sign of disbelief. Basically a sarcastic "No".
“That’s so fetch!”
#5 Fetch Fetch climbed from 6th place back at end of 2015 and is basically maintaining its place at 5th this year. This one is for white girls it seems, and is among the most female scewed slang term we track. This term was popularized by the movie Mean Girls and means cool/chic.
#6 Dope Dope can be used a number of ways (see 2016 definition), including as a synonym for Lit, basically high in quality or mind blowing
“What up bro?”
#7 Bro It seems “Bruh” which reached a high of #10 back in 2015/2016 has been flat and/or morphed back to the more common “Bro”. While there have even been female variants like Bra (in part promoted by advertising related to breast cancer - someone who supports you when you have breast cancer). The meaning of Bruh has been changing for sometime from a term of endearment (brother), to Bruh?! Meaning “Oh no… why did you do that?!”, and now it seems, back to the more simple term of endearment, Bro.
“Spill the tea yo!”
#8 Tea Here’s another brand new up and comer we just began tracking quite recently. If someone asks you for the Tea, they’re nt talking about a hot beverage, they want the juicy gossip!
“That deserves a dab!”
#9 Dab The meme-able dance move known as ‘dabbing’ spawned and gave way to the term with similar origin “Yeet”, which has taken on more meaning and popularity than dab. While this term continues to slowly wane in popularity, its use together with marijuana may help it morph and remain in use. More something you do than say, after a win or achieving something like a touch down in football, the player might dab to celebrate the awesomeness of it.
“Wow, I’m shook”
#10 Shook Last year we mentioned Shook as a bonus term you may want to keep your eyes on. It was a popular meme, and the term’s meaning varies slightly depending on the context. Generally, “shook” refers to a state of fear or of being shocked or stunned. It can also refer to a state of being deeply affected by an experience (implicitly traumatic) or even the way one might be momentarily struck by the beauty of a romantic prospect ala Elvis Presley’s “I’m All Shook Up.” Of course it can also be used sarcastically, when one is definitely not surprised.
In any given year there are usually about 50 or so slang terms that appear often enough for us to consider active and track for our Top-10. Other than geographic differences, there are usually differences related to gender, age and other demographics. For instance while “Fetch” and “Bae” are far more likely to be used by women, Yeet and Woke are more popular among males. Terms like “Lit”and “Yeet” skew younger, the term “Dang” is rather Southern, whereas “lit” and “Bae” are more popular in the North East.
That’s our top 10 list starting us off for 2019. If there is a term you’re curious about and wondering whether it’s just popular locally, or is getting a broader foot hold let us know and we’ll look into it.