Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Keeping Up: New Slang Amongst Generation Y

While we understand the fleeting nature of slang and promise we are not "trying to make 'fetch' happen," each year ushers in a bevy of new words you might hear and may even want to use (though we urge you to do so sparingly). 2009 introduces us to a vocabulary inspired by pop culture and technology, and here are a few of the favorites heard from the streets, our bloggers, and Gen Ys who know...


Povo (po-vo)
adj. Spawned from the increasing popularity of new HBO series Summer Heights High, the Aussie slang for poor has infiltrated the vocabulary of recessionistas everywhere"Caroline, I can't go out to dinner tonight: My pay cut has left me totally povo."


n. Your ex boyfriend/girlfriend who dumped you via Post-it/text/drop-off-the-face-of-the-earth-disappearing-act and who is now flouncing around town with a new love interest "I bumped into my ex-hole this morning - she said she was so sorry that she cheated on me, blah blah blah. I wanted to puke."

v. To stay home with your boyfriend/girlfriend to cuddle "It's raining and cold outside; I think I'll skip the bars and cupcake tonight."

Hot Room
n. A social setting that involves a mix of people whose relationships to each other are, well, complicated"I was sitting next to my current flame and then my ex-hole walked in with his current girlfriend, who I had a falling out with in high school - total hot room!"


Pwn (pone)
v. To "power own" something or someone. Derived years ago from World of Warcraft smack talk, this slang has been adopted throughout other online games, and has since surfaced in the mainstream real world"I pwn-ed Stephen last night in Wii Tennis."

Epic Fail
n. A frequently used term in the video game community that quite simply means you really messed up and/or something/someone is an utter failure"Dude, your attempt to get that girl's number was an epic fail."

n. Two people who are equal in depth of arcane knowledge"I knew I had met my geequal when Frank showed me his Star Wars light saber iPhone app."

adj. A term used to describe people's need for recognition and self-fulfillment via the Internet. This is accomplished with incessant Facebook status updates and TMI-Twitter feeds, and serves the purpose of making one feel important and/or noticed"My friends consider my need to Twitter detailed accounts of my trips to Trader Joe's, the gas station, and my opinions on anything, really, to be annoyingly myselfish. I consider it shameless self-promotion!"


Retox (ree-tox)
v. To go back on your New Year's resolutions and do the opposite of the goals you set for yourself"Instead of following my resolution to get fit this year, I decided to retox and take up cooking classes instead. Oh well, no one follows New Year's resolutions anyway, right?"

Smashed Potatoes
adj. Drunk, inebriated, similar to the term "hot mess""Sorry I bailed without saying good night, but I was smashed potatoes."

n. Taking a vacation from being a hater where you are committed to not saying anything bad about anyone or anything; synonymous with "moral cleanse" "Whatever, I know you have an opinion but just can't speak your mind because you are on a hate-cation."

Obama/Not Obama
adj. London street reporters proclaim that our new President has become synonymous with "cool""Yeah, that is so Obama!"

adj. A term used to describe people or things considered to be cool or trendy"The pop-up art gallery on Elizabeth Street is alt-worthy."

'Kward (kwerd)
adj. Awkward"Whoa, that conversation was very 'kward."

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