“Say what…?!” A Glossary of Terms for the Modern Fifty-Something

Over 50? Think you’re ‘down with the kids’? We salute you! If you are up to speed on contemporary parlance, perhaps you’d like a refresher course (below). If not, you’ll find this article even more insightful – read on for a glossary of modern-day terms for the equally modern fifty-something. You’ll be deciphering your pre-teen’s, teenager’s or young adult’s convos in no time…

Basic – ‘Basic’ – it means ‘fundamental’, or ‘primary’, right? That it does – but amongst today’s youth, it also means ‘boring’, ‘average’ or ‘unoriginal’. Popular in American culture, it’s a term which has made its way to British shores and is used to describe people who follow mainstream products and trends.

It’s more often used as an insult – although we don’t condone insulting anyone – towards someone who jumps onto every trend going.

How to use it in context: “Sarah is soooo basic, it’s unreal.”

Boujee – Love nothing more than relaxing in the bath with a glass of wine in your finest glassware? Or perhaps you think nothing of doing the gardening with a fresh blow-dry and a full face of make-up. Or heading to the corner shop in a fancy dress and heels.  

If any of the above apply, you’re ‘boujee’, which comes from the word ‘bourgeois’. The latter has negative connotations, but boujee is instead used positively – and almost comically, at times – to mean you’re a fan of all things luxurious.

How to use it in context: “I’m feeling a bit boujee today…I’m drinking cordial from a Champagne flute.”

Dead – A ‘dead’ person is someone who is no longer with us? True, but in 2022 a dead person is also someone who has laughed so hard they have, figuratively at least, ‘died’ laughing. You might also see ‘ROFL’ used in a text message, when referring to laughter. This is abbreviated to ‘rolling on the floor laughing – i.e., when something is so hilarious that someone is rolling around in fits of giggles.

How to use it in context: [In response to someone’s joke]: “Oh God, I’m dead!”

Cheugy – A relatively new word in modern parlance, ‘Cheugy’ has been doing the rounds for a little while. But what does it mean? It’s a term used to describe someone who is unashamedly – and confidently – following an outdated trend that hasn’t been cool for a while. It’s usually used ironically, as the Dictionary site explains, below.

How it’s used in context: “My mother is so cheugy: she participates in TikTok trends when they are already weeks old.”

Extra – You thought ‘extra’ meant ‘too much’. It does, but it also means ‘over the top’ – and is generally used when complimenting someone.

How to use it in context: “Your sequinned dress is sooo extra.”

Fire – Fire? Not a mass of flames, but someone or something that is ‘on point’, or attractive. ‘Fire’ is often used as an emoji, in a text message or email, for example, to describe someone’s appearance.

How to use it in context: ‘Wow, you’re looking 🔥today.”

Hangry – Again, another relatively new word – but one that made it into the Oxford English Dictionary back in 2018. You’ve probably heard it used often and it’s a combination of hungry and angry – i.e. you’re so hungry, you’re now feeling angry.

How to use it in context: “I’m so hangry, I need to eat right away.”

Lit – You’d be right to think being ‘lit’ was reserved only for candles or stovetops. You’d be wrong; to be lit also means something is amazing.

How to use it in context: “This party is so lit.”

Noob – New to something and particularly bad at it? You’re a newbie – or for short, a ‘noob’.

How it’s used it in context: “My mum is such a noob to Facebook; she doesn’t know what on earth she is doing on it”

OMG – We’re sure this one needs no explanation, but just in case, ‘OMG’ is an abbreviation of ‘Oh my God’, an exclamation to express surprise or delight.

How it’s used it in context: “OMG, I can’t believe she did that…!”

Salty – Salty? Surely that’s used only when talking about food or sea water? No, if you have a pre-teen or teenager on your hands, ‘salty’ means bitter, angry or agitated.

How to use it in context: “My horrid neighbour was extra salty today.”

Shook – What have you shook recently? Your crisps after flavouring them with the little blue sachet of salt (yes, we’re going way back now)? In 2022, to be ‘shook’ means you are shocked or incredibly surprised.

How to use it in context: “The ending of that book/film/series had me shook.”

Sick – Again, another modern word which has been doing the rounds for some time amongst young adults. In the context of this piece, it doesn’t mean quite what you first thought, though. If something is ‘sick’, it’s not ill – instead, it’s really cool. Cool as in impressive/brilliant, not cold, you understand.

How to use it in context: ‘Your piano skills are sick.”

Tea – Tea, anyone? In this instance, tea means what you think it does – a hot, comforting drink – but when people refer to tea in 2022, they could be talking about ‘spilling it’, with ‘spilling the tea’ meaning to share the gossip, or news. Yes, really.

How to use it in context: “Go on, then…spill the tea. I’m all ears.”

YOLO – Another abbreviation to add to your go-to 2022 slang glossary, YOLO is, quite simply, the shortened version of You Only Live Once.

How to use it in context: “Go on, Doug…have that second slice of cake – YOLO!”

How many of these words and phrases did you know already, then? While we can’t teach you everything you need to know about modern dialogue here at Unity Mutual, we can help you stay on top of one thing at least: your finances.

If you’re over 50 and looking to boost your funds, take a look at our five-year guaranteed investment bond, which is designed for people who want to get ahead of the curve where their finances are concerned.

Have a question about any of our financial products? Do not hesitate to get in touch with our team who will be happy to talk through our products, their terms and conditions and answer any questions you might have. 


Until next time…

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