We all know the story of the Tower of Babel, right? Once upon a time the world had only one language, then something happened (please allow for vagueness/add your own interpretation here because I fell asleep in school a lot), so the tower came on down and made the kind of mess that Triscuit dust everywhere makes. Moms threatened their offspring, saying they’d be grounded if they didn’t clean this crap up ASAP and so, in the haste, things got jumbled and separate languages were formed.
Billions of years later, humans finally ungrounded, Internet privilege came into existence. This meant Blogspot, and then Tumblr, which meant memes, which trickled into viral Twitter and Instagram accounts, and thus, a new kind of language reunited all: social media slang.
This year in particular was a speakeasy doozy, so whether you love them or hate them, here are the top 14 words of 2014.
Definition: on point.
Usage: Your nostrils are on fleek today. Did you just have them waxed?
Vote: Best of.
Definition: a literal use of the word. If you’ve never heard the word “goals” before, Wikifreakia defines goals as “a desired result a person or a system envisions, plans and commits to achieve a personal or organizational desired end-point in some sort of assumed development.”
Usage: Online, with the help of a visual image. One posts a photo (ironic or not) that indicates who they’d like to be or what they’d like to be doing, accompanied by the word, “Goals.”
Vote: Best of.
Definition: similar to “Goals,” mood is a literal use of the word. A mood ring or one of those curling paper fish can help you determine your emotions if you’re having trouble and your therapist is on vacation.
Usage: Online, with the help of a visual. Again, as with “goals,” one posts a photo (ironic or not) that best describes their mood, accompanied by the text, “Mood.”
Vote: Best of.
The return of the letter “u”
Definition: the letter “u” has been allowed back into the typed lexicon to replace the word “you” after an AIM and Blackberry-induced “u” overdose, followed by a hiatus.
Usage: Previously, the use of “u” was seen as immature and lazy. Now, it’s been reclaimed by efficient captioners, commenters and those restricted by a 140-character limit. Examples: “Literally u.” “When u wake up in the morning but stare at the wall for 5 hours.” “When u hungry but the bae is mad and won’t give u the Seamless pw.” Etc.
Vote: Best of. It’s economical.
When You [insert relatable action here] Like…
Definition: Best defined in context, see below.
Usage: As with “mood” and “goals,” this phrase is best-paired with an image that acts as your visual punchline. For example, I might post a gif of a sleeping cat who actually looks dead, accompanied with the text, “When you take too much Nyquil like…”
Vote: Best of. It has become impossible to describe oneself without a visual now.
Turnt up/ down
Definition: See here.
Usage: When referring to someone’s hyper-level. Frequently used in music. Often associated with alcohol, OR OTHER STUFF WE DON’T CONDONE.
Vote: On its way out, still hard to shake, though. Let’s call it best-of-the-worst.
The below is my “current mood.” It also depicts my “friendship goals.” If I posted it to Instagram, I might caption it with, “Me when I’m secretely bad at something I said I was good at like…”
Both Mary and Mavis’ sweaters are “on fleek.” These women are also clearly “turnt up.” Finally, if a stranger posted this but Leandra found it, she’d “@” me and simply comment, “Literally u.”
Great job!!! Now you’re getting it! Continuing on with the words that need to STAY in 2014.
Definition: Crush/significant other/Danish for poop.
Vote: It was fun for 2014, but the first person to use “bae” in 2015 will be voted off the island.
Definition: Slang for “that.”
Usage: Singles out a #blessed body part, typically followed with the words “tho,” or “doe.”
Definition: Slang for “though.”
Usage: The bookend to “Dat ____.” Common example, “Dat ass, tho.” Note: when alliteration takes form courtesy of both a “dat” and a “doe” in the same sentence, the user sounds like they have a deviated septum. “Dat stuffed nose, doe.”
Vote: Worst. It was humorous for a second, then as with most Internet things it was exhausted to the grave.
Definition: Struggle, verb. To make forceful or violent efforts to get free of restraint or constriction. The Struggle, however, is a hyperbolic noun referring to the state wherein one “can’t even.”
Usage: Typically in regards to a hangover, that is very much real. Example, “I drank all of the leftover eggnog last night, mixed with a fifth of Fireball and seasoned with extra cinnamon. Today, the struggle is real.”
Vote: Shut up.
All of us
Definition: The unselfish version of John Legend’s popular song.
Usage: “This blob fish is all of us.”
Vote: The worst, partially because it’s overused but mostly because it’s scientifically impossible to prove. Stay in 2014.
Origin: “Bye Felicia” came from this scene in the movie Friday.
Usage: To dismiss someone who is bugging the shit out of you.
Vote: I’m torn here. It’s extremely satisfying to let a bothersome person know they can exit to the left with a sassy, “Bye Felicia.” At the same time, the joke got old fast so the punch doesn’t pack quite like it used to. Felicia will carry into 2015 regardless, but let’s pray for the saying to eventually dismiss itself.
Definition: A very emphatic, “yes.”
Usage: When you agree with someone and have forgotten your wits completely.
Vote: The Worst. Again, as with “tho,” it was great at first, like, 2 years ago. The Internet overdid it.
All the Things
Definition: I don’t even know how to describe this one because it’s so dumb. It literally means “all the things.”
Usage: If someone has on an outfit, you want to wear “all the things.” If someone posts a really awesome looking sandwich with chips and pickles and condiments, you want to eat, “all the things.” If something’s really sad, it gives you “all the feelings.” I just threw up “all the stomach acid” after typing those three sentences.
If I posted this picture and was an idiot I’d say, “So bored, waiting 4 the bae and the struggle is real.”
Then people who I should probably de-friend would write:
“Dat hoola hoop doe.”
“This horse is all of us.”
“Man, 2014 was all the things.”