Slangin’ or be left hangin’
As the cool kids of Gen X and Y, we revel in not being understood by anyone over the age of 26. Speaking in an exclusive lingo that makes no sense out of context is part and parcel of being a millennial. Whether you’re belting out these slangs on a daily basis, or just late to the party on urbandictionary, this list right here will be your passport into the squad.
1. The struggle is real
The struggle is always real, especially when you wake up in the morning feeling like P Diddy and you have school in twenty minutes.
First world problems aside, life is a struggle every morning, from the moment you wake up and realise you have things to do, or don’t. “The struggle is real” has become the everyday catchphrase for the whiny kids of the strawberry-gen.
The everyday millennial:
THE STRUGGLE IS REAL. Ya feel?
You’ve seen this on instagram countless times, and no, it doesn’t stand for Abercrombie & Fitch. Pronounced ay-af, af is the acronym for “as f*ck”, an intensifier used to end every sentence the #squad way.
Why use boring grammatically correct words like “so” and “very” when you can make up your own combinations? Whether it’s hot af or tired af and even goals af, the everyday millennial throws af behind adjectives to make it sound instantly cool, like they’re not even trying hard enough to form a full sentence.
What do you get when you mix the homegrown spirit of kiasu-ism with the new-age FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out): Singapore’s very own slang FLFC - aka every instagrammer’s pet peeve, used by those annoying friends who just have nothing to do, and nothing to prove.
FLFC stands for “First Like First Comment”, because, as always, Singaporeans always want to be first in line - even if it’s just a trivial like or comment.
And every time I get FLFC notifications on an instagram photo I’m like:
Why call it a group of friends when you can call it a squad. Be it the exclusive squad picture or the #squadgoals hashtag, everyone is dying to be in the squad. Dinner with friends sounds instantly cooler when it’s dinner with the squad. Put on your #squad face and you’re good to go.
And no, we don’t mean dehydrated - you know, that feeling when you’ve been so deprived of water, you’d do anything to quench the thirst. Well, thirsty is the new word for “desperate” that perfectly describes certain boys in the club on Ladies Night. Or that friend who can’t stop hitting on any available girl in a five meter radius. #thethirstisreal
6. No Chill
No Chill applies for all kinds of over-the-top and irrational people - from overprotective parents who call your school when you’re not home by 7pm to a salty girlfriend beating you up passive aggressively through text. Even the clubber siao who’s screaming her head off qualifies. Essentially anything that is the opposite of chill is No chill.
7. On Fleek
This is probably not the first time you’re hearing the phrase “brows on fleek”: swankier slang for on point, made and said by us millennials.
We use “____ on fleek” to compliment friends’ selfies on instagram; people spam it all over Kim K’s instagram and naysayers make memes… of dogs.
8. Game Strong
Caption game strong. Eyeliner game strong. Hair game strong. Game strong is essentially the gender neutral version of on fleek. You can be strong in any game.
Another 90s-exclusive word, Step is the local two-in-one word for act cool. Whether it’s a fail or nice try, Step is for the people who do anything from taking #ootd shots while looking off in the far distance, or practicing that model pout - except they CMI.
Shortform for popular, Pops is usually said sarcastically for when you’re trying to poke fun at someone for being too in-demand. It is usually reserved for that friend who can’t go to ION without bumping into ex-secondary school friends, or the one always receiving instagram likes notifications 24/7.
“Wa, you damn pops sia, 200 likes on insta all.” “No la no la.” *Posts selfie and gets 12903 compliments.*
11. A for effort
Twinkle twinkle little star - the golden star of approval has followed us up from kindergarten times. A for Effort is the new way of saying “you tried”, with the underlying “CMI” connotation. It can also be used sarcastically for that friend who stayed up all night playing DOTA instead of filling up his section of google docs - truly A for Effort. Come I clap for you.
You can’t be truly aesthetic unless you have a group of admirers. The short-form for admiring, Mirin is the word guys use to express admiration for fellow Zyzz try-hards, their man-candies and #fitspos. If you thought fishing for compliments on Instagram was a girls exclusive thing, you are so wrong. Pronounced “my-rin”, a true admirer follows it up in true brah fashion.
Girls be like:
Not another flexing guy with that pose on my feed. #justno.
You’ve probably seen the word Ship sailing through your instagram feeds, or found yourself embroiled in a ship war on tumblr just by searching the tag #ship. No boats or yachts there but a whole cargo-load of drama.
As long as there’s a boy and girl involved, the term Ship is always applicable. Millennials love to play matchmaker, and we do it well. There’s nothing better to spark off the new age insta-relationship than a long line of Ship comments to make things awkward for the people involved.
Savage is the new word for that really wild kid on the block - think Leonardo Dicaprio in The Revenant. Like its root meaning, Savage is used to describe that badass friend who does the craziest YOLO things - and actually pulls it off. You know you’re friends with a Savage, when the phrase you say most around them is “WHAT THE HECK BRO?! WHATCHU DOING?!”.
Synonyms include sick and awesome, but Savage includes the bonus i-don’t-give-a-f* factor. For girls, the occasional over-the-top burn is included.
And if you have a friend who uses all the above slangs on a daily basis, this next word was made for them.
Ratchet is another word for trashy, and is ghetto speak for that trashy mainstreamer who latches on to all trends. That means they says af in every sentence, are probably thirsty, and are regular #step-but-fail offenders. Most importantly - they don’t see anything wrong with it. But we do, oh we do.
Started from the bottom, now we’re here
Congrats, you’ve just worked your way up from loser to winner. With these 15 slangs in the bag, you’re all set to #getin with the millennial crowd. I’m proud of you for sticking through this, mate. Enjoy your acceptance into the squad.