A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

22 Slang Words That We Can’t Stand

TBH, this Gucci list is dank AF, k? (If you can say that out loud with a straight face you are stronger than we are.)

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Thumb down hand signs isolated on white. black man hand gesturing with hand on white

The purpose of slang words

Slang serves an important purpose in society—it helps language evolve and gives people an easy way to “fit in” and feel part of the group. Often slang words draw heavily from pop culture and become a fun insider joke. And then there are the other types of slang words, that divide us instead of bringing us together, the words used to shame, demean, ostracize, and hurt others. While these things can be subjective, here are the slang words we’d love to see deleted! Find out the brand new words added to the dictionary in 2019.

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slang words ok boomer

Ok, boomer

Millennials have fired the next volley in the war of the generation with just two words: “OK, boomer.” We could explain why the 60-year-olds are beefing with the 30-year-olds but honestly, we don’t care. Can’t we all just be a little nicer to each other and recognize that people of every generation make good contributions to society? Check out the best cities to live in for every generation.

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slang words vsco


Pronounced visko, VSCO, is an app for editing photos but like so many apps these days it’s taken on a life beyond the digital sphere, embodying a certain type of breezy aesthetic as modeled by “VSCO girls.” They’re adorable but at best it feels like using kids for marketing and at worst it’s objectifying young women. Find out the best and worst times of day to take selfies so you can stop relying on those filters in the first place.

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slang words thot


This is modern slang for an old-fashioned “whore.” It’s a crude term some people use to describe women or girls who do things they consider “slutty,” like sending nudes or sexting with lots of different people. It’s demeaning and gross and the fact that there’s no male equivalent says a lot about the societal double standard. Instead, build people up and give one of these 52 little compliments guaranteed to make anyone smile.

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slang words gucci


The luxury brand name has become synonymous with “really great” and “very cool,” as in “That’s Gucci” or “Those shoes are Gucci.” It was cute the first 100 times. Then Lil’ Pump came out with Gucci Gang and we all heard the word so much it lost all meaning. If you think that’s odd, check out these strange slang terms from the Roaring ’20s.

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slang words smash


Popular on Tinder, this word just means to have sex. But did we really need another euphemism for sex? And even if we did, did we need one that sounds so… painful? Before you venture on to Tinder, make sure you know these 10 slang words used on dating sites.

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slang words ya basic

Ya basic

Calling someone basic means that they’re boring and only like things other people like. But why shame people for what they like? There’s so little joy in the world as it is, let people have whatever makes them happy, even if it’s not your thing.

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slang words belfie


Butts are in. So are selfies. Which is how we arrived at peak belfie, or butt selfie. You can’t scroll through social media these days without seeing a (usually photoshopped) butt, or five. Can we drop the cutesy slang pretense and just admit people like butts and that’s fine? Don’t miss these 14 surprising facts about selfies.

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slang words k


Never has so much been said by one single letter—a letter oozing with disdain. Texting a single “k”—uncapitalized with no punctuation—to someone is technically a short version of “OK.” But these days it is slang for “You’re boring and annoying. Never talk to me again. Or do. I don’t care. You’re nothing to me.” Find out 16 more text abbreviations you really need to know by now.

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slang words thirst trap

Thirst trap

If someone is desperate for attention and will do anything to get it, they’re a “thirst trap.” But wanting attention is a very basic human need and instead of shaming people for trying to get it, perhaps we should be focusing on teaching them better ways to connect with others. Instead of calling someone a name, try these 10 ways healthy people handle rejection.

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slang words LB


You may not have heard this one said out loud but chances are you’ve seen LB, slang for “like back,” a million times on social media. It’s the shortest, laziest way to insist someone follow or like your account because you followed or liked theirs. It’s all the worst parts of social media rolled up into two letters—not to mention one of the 13 etiquette rules of social media you need to stop breaking. Just like what you like because you like it.

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slang words bruh


“Bruh. Did you hear that ‘brah’ is the new ‘wasssssupppp’?” “BRUH! No way, I thought it was ‘bra’ or ‘bro’!” “Sure that too! You know, whatever string of letters drunken frat boys can yell across a room!”

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slang words AF


AF is Internet slang for “as f***” and means that something is really great or next level. “These enchiladas are tasty AF.” You get the punch of using a curse word without actually cursing. Which is all fun and games… until you have to explain it to Grandma at Thanksgiving. You’ll also want to skip these 15 things you should never discuss at a family dinner.

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slang words peach


A peach is cutesy slang for a woman’s butt. You often see it under a picture of a girl squatting with a caption “growing my peach!” Good for you for exercising. Also good for liking your butt and having that self-confidence. Now, find out the meaning of that talking eye emoji and 10 others that have you completely baffled.

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slang words receipts


The year 2018 was the year of “receipts,” with celebrities posting pictures, transcripts, videos, and call recordings as “proof” of a wide variety of wrongs done. If you’re on a reality show then, fine, bring all the receipts, that’s your job. If you’re talking to Susan at the office water cooler, cut it out, no one wants to get dragged into your feud with Mike. Find out what CVS stands for, and no, it’s not code for “Home of Longest Receipts.”

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slang words ratchet


This is a cruel term used to describe someone who looks really bad off or something that’s seen as stereotypically poor or low-class and may come with a big dose of racism on top. It’s definitely one of the 11 things you should never say at work, or ever, really.

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slang words ghost


The word “ghost” is fine but when it’s used as a way to end a relationship without an explanation or even a goodbye then it’s more horrific than all the Scream movies put together. Don’t ghost people, it’s mean and everyone deserves closure.

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slang words bet


Essentially, “bet” just means “yes.” (Sometimes a more enthusiastic agreement, like “for sure” or “sure thing.”) You’re substituting one three-letter word for another three-letter word that sounds nothing like it. It’s like using Jack as a nickname for John—you can, but why? Check out these 13 words from the first dictionary that no longer exist.

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slang words tbh


To be honest, this phrase is so overused that there are entire chats full of tweens that can’t start a sentence without it. At best it’s irritating and unnecessary, at worst it’s a way to say hurtful things under the guise of “I’m just being honest.” Instead, use these 11 tips to stop being so judgmental of others.

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slang words thicc


Curvy women are having a cultural moment and that’s exciting. And a woman with a lot of curves, especially through the hips, thighs, and butt, is deemed “thicc.” It’s a compliment but anyone who grew up in the era where “thick” meant “stupid” is going to be very confused or offended. Get a look at these 11 words and phrases that used to be insults but are now compliments.

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slang words sambo


This racial slur isn’t a new slang word by any means but unfortunately, it made a big comeback in 2019. Don’t use racial slurs. Not this one. Not any of them. Ever. Once you learn the origins of these popular slang words, you may decide to stop using them.

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slang words dank


This slang word has so many meanings it’s basically become meaningless. Sometimes it means something really cool or unique on the internet, other times it refers to high-quality weed, still other times it means something that’s overused, and then there’s the original meaning of musty or damp. The upside is you can say it to mean anything in any context and you won’t be wrong. Slang can vary by age, race, location, and other factors, like these slang words only people from your state will understand.

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slang words yummo


If you’re talking to a toddler refusing to eat peas then, sure, that food is “yummo!” If you’re in adult company however, you might want to rethink using baby talk. Read on to find out more slang words that need to end.

Charlotte Hilton Andersen
Charlotte Hilton Andersen is a health, lifestyle and fitness expert and teacher. She covers all things wellness for Reader’s Digest and The Healthy. With dual masters degrees in information technology and education, she has been a journalist for 17 years and is the author of The Great Fitness Experiment. She lives in Denver with her husband, five kids and three pets.