Have you been “ghosted” this year? (One hopes not.) Are you “salty” about anything? (Perhaps the political game or tough economic times?) Those are two of the latest and greatest slang terms to have earned a place in 2022 American lexicon. At least, that’s what extensive research has unearthed.
Just in case you need further clarification, being “ghosted” means someone has stopped talking to or communicating with you without bothering to offer an explanation. As in perhaps being unfriended by someone on Facebook. “Salty” refers to being angry – even exceptionally bitter or resentful – about something. Chances are, most of us have felt a little “salty” about something or someone this year.
Unless, of course, you’re a gigglemug, or one who just can’t or won’t stop smiling. (I’m pretty sure that would have to be someone who never watches the news and stays off social media.)
Haven’t referred to anyone as a gigglemug recently? How about using the word “bae”? That older term of endearment is apparently still very popular, but reports are it’s also very annoying to others. Instead, try “bomb” to indicate that someone or something is cool and/or amazing.
If you’re not tired of bae, how about these terms: “GOAT” (that’s the Greatest Of All Time, as in Serena Williams and Tom Brady, to name a couple of sports examples), “woke” (being laser-focused on social justice), and “on point,” (exactly right). Apparently, “on fleek” (extremely good or attractive or executed perfectly), and COVID-associated terms, such as “rona” and “zoom fatigue,” are deemed more than just a little annoying as well.
The use of slang words has, of course, been around probably since mankind stopped just grunting and pointing to get a meaning across. (“Groovy cave there, Oog. Cool rocks.”) Within the last century or so, some colorful expressions have highlighted the speech mainly of the young among us, even though many eventually are used (probably incorrectly) by the adults in the room.
To “know your onions” in the 1920s meant you knew what was going on at the time. That probably gave way to “hip” as the decades rolled along. The “cat’s pajamas” meant something was truly excellent. A “cancelled stamp” referred mainly to a shy or introverted girl. In the late 30s, the phrase “tickety-boo” indicated everything was correct. And it seems in the 40s, one could be described as “twitterpatted.” Obviously, it has nothing to do with the current brouhaha over today’s Twitter issues. Back then it meant you were feeling lovestruck or maybe even foolish. (Hmmm. Maybe that last adjective does have meaning for today.)
Of course, there are a whole host of other slang terms in vogue now. “Catfish” refers to “assuming a false identity or personality on the Internet.” “Low-key” is something “understated or secret.” And “savage” indicates you don’t care one whit about consequences. (I’m just guessing here, but that disinterest probably changes if you get caught or things don’t go your way.)
I’m thinking there are a few more slang terms that haven’t quite made it into general use that would be appropriate for today as well. For example:
“Sino-tize.” This would refer to the practice of cracking down on citizens staging peaceful protests in, say, China. “Tehran-itize” might work here as well.
“Warnocked” or “Walkered.” Only one of these can prevail. They would refer to what happens to a political candidate in a run-off election who spends hundreds of millions of dollars for a job that pays “$174,000 per annum and loses. It might originate in Georgia but could probably find a broader use throughout the country.
“Putin on the Hits.” This refers to being a bully and trying to overpower a presumed weak opponent.
“Ukrainilizer.” The opposite of “Putin on the Hits.” It means fighting back and humiliating the bully who thought he could walk all over you without a battle royale ensuing.
“Bull-Dawging.” Used almost extensively by University of Georgia football fans, it means giving no quarter to the opposing team.
“Ramen Noodle Night.” Often employed after realizing your entire food budget for the month was spent in one quick trip to the grocery store. (Could also be referred to as “PB&J Day.”)
“Pin-cushion prey.“ What you feel like after several rounds of Covid vaccine and booster shots on top of the usual flu inoculations.
And finally, how about bringing back an oldie but goodie: “Cool your jets.” Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all just stay a little calmer and not get so excited or worked up about everything in life? Maybe those gigglemugs have the right idea.
©MMXXII. William J. Lewis, III – Freelance Writer