Check out the origins of these modern slang terms
Mental Floss has compiled this list, which explains the origins of several commonly-used slang expressions. Here they are:
- FOMO. Credit for the popular usage of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) often goes to venture capitalist and author Patrick J. McGinnis, who used the term in 2004 in an op-ed for Harvard Business School’s magazine The Harbus.
- Bye, Felisha! The phrase comes from the 1995 stoner comedy Friday, co-written by and starring Ice Cube as Craig, a young man in South Central Los Angeles who tells off the mooching bit character Felisha when she asks Craig’s friend to borrow his car and then a joint.
- Lit. People have been using the word to mean “intoxicated” since at least 1918, when John McGavock Grider, an American pilot who served in England’s Royal Flying Corps during World War I, used it in his book War Birds: Diary Of An Unknown Aviator.
- Woke. Using the word to mean “aware in a political or cultural sense” dates back to 1962, when novelist William Melvin Kelley tackled appropriation of black culture in a New York Times article.
- Humblebrag. Credit for the term goes to late comedian and Parks and Recreation writer Harris Wittels, who explained the concept in 2010 through retweeted examples from celebrities on the @Humblebrag Twitter account before publishing Humblebrag: The Art of False Modesty in 2012.
- On fleek. The phrase was first used in 2014 by a Vine user named Peaches Monroee to describe perfectly groomed eyebrows. But fleek was defined on Urban Dictionary as early as 2003 as “smooth, nice, sweet” and 2009 as “awesome.”
- First world problem. This phrase has been around since 1979, when an academic named Geoffrey K. Payne used it in an article in the journal Built Environment.
- Yas/Yass/Yaass. According to “Reply All,” we owe its current popular American usage to the LGBTQ black and Latino ball scene of the ‘80s.
- G.O.A.T. LL COOL J brought the acronym G.O.A.T. (Greatest of All Time) into popular usage with the 2000 hip hop album of the same name.