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23 New Slang Words You’ll Be Hearing More of in 2020

Yolt is the new yeet. Brush up on these unofficial vocab words.

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word slang printed on paper macroaga7ta/Getty Images

Can you hang?

Want to up your cool factor? Be a hipster? Understand the youths? Become a venture capitalist (or just sound like one)? Or maybe you’re just looking for some more creative ways to insult people? We’ve got you covered with this list of slang words you need to know this year. And you know these slang words are legit because when I read them to my three teenagers to make sure I was using them correctly, they said, and I quote, “Big yikes, mom! This is the cringiest thing I’ve ever heard.” To which I replied, “…OK, Zoomer.” I win.

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sounds like a you problem slang

Sounds like a you problem

Have you ever had someone vent to you or ask for your help and you weren’t sure how to say no politely? Well, don’t say this. This is a retort used to wake someone else up to the fact that they are responsible for their own drama and not to involve you—in the least empathetic way possible.

These slang words from the 1920s are worth bringing back!

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slang 2020 she snappin'


Someone “snapping” used to mean they had reached their breaking point and had an emotional outburst (usually anger). These days, however, if someone tells you that you’re snappin’, it’s actually a compliment, meaning that you look really well put together.

Learn about the compliments that are actually pretty insulting.

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spilled the tea slang

Spilling the tea

Got the insider scoop on some really good gossip? If you share it then you’re spilling the tea. Often used by YouTubers to get more clicks from people who are dying to know a secret (that is available for the entire internet to hear).

Use this one phrase to stop gossip in its tracks.

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straight fire slang

Straight fire

Being on fire, literally, is a bad thing. Being on fire, figuratively, means you’re on a roll. Being fire (again, figuratively) means you’re amazing. But if someone tells you that you’re straight fire? You’re an absolute sexy beast and you should keep doing whatever it is you’re doing.

These funny compliments will win everyone over!

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slang 2020 big

Big yikes

When the word “yikes” isn’t enough to describe an unfortunate, embarrassing, or weird situation, you can pull out the “BIG yikes.” Not only does this mean all the aforementioned words but it adds an extra level of cringeworthiness.

Remember these coffee puns for a whole latte laughs!

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cringey slang


Hey parents, these days it’s not enough to embarrass your kids. If you really do something humiliating, strange, or silly (aka something completely normal that no person other than your teen would notice) then you’re “cringey.”

Watch out for these things you should never say to a Canadian.

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that's a choice slang

That’s a choice

This is the perfect slang for when you want to acknowledge someone’s decision while still being mildly disapproving. For the ultimate in passive-aggressiveness, say it with as little emotion as possible.

We’ve rounded up the funniest things people have ever said while they were sleeping!

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sksksksksk slang


It may sound like snakes trapped in a paper bag but whether this is texted or said aloud, it’s a new way of saying something is funny by signifying laughter. It’s most commonly used by VSCO girls. And hey, it works, because it’s nearly impossible to say with a straight face.

Need a quick chuckle? Don’t miss these funny limericks!

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slang 2020


The humble punctuation mark, the period, has been going through an evolution thanks to texting. It used to be that it was just proper punctuation at the end of a sentence but now most of the time people don’t bother adding it on—unless they want to really emphasize something. Saying or texting “periodt” is the verbal equivalent. It means “and this is final, I’ve proved my point!”

Memorize these funny phrases and use them as necessary!

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slang 2020 take it to da house!

Take it to da house

Cheering on your favourite sports team? Bellow this phrase to encourage them to play hard and score big—not only will you sound like a true fan but it has the added bonus of embarrassing any teen in the vicinity. Everyone wins!

Check out these hilarious soccer phrases from around the world.

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slang 2020


Last year we were introduced to “mood,” as in “that’s a mood,” to describe a picture that evokes a powerful and relatable feeling. This year, because nothing can be simple, we’ve upped the ante by adding a misspelling to it. It’s the same slang, just somehow cooler?

Take care when travelling abroad: These English words have totally different meanings in other languages!

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big oof slang

Big oof

“Oof” is the catchphrase of a character on the popular game Roblox, used when he makes a mistake. (Apparently he’s from the Midwest? Oof-da!) Kids have taken it offline and now saying “big oof” means you made a slightly bigger mistake. It’s a mix between saying “my bad” and “facepalm.”

Here are the hardest words to pronounce in the English language.

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the d list slang

The D List

You’ve heard of A-list, B-list, and even C-list celebs but where do you go when you need to describe someone below reality TV stars? Straight to the D-list. These are people just famous on Instagram or YouTube and are only known for being influencers…of something.

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choosey beggars slang

Choosey beggar

Ever posted something online for free only to discover how many people want to argue with you about a free gift? “Can you deliver that free couch to me?” “Can you throw in the TV in the picture too?” It comes from the old adage of “beggars can’t be choosers” and shows you how they very much will still try. The worst part is choosey beggars often get insulting fast. “You’re a terrible person and you deserve to die—the only thing my child dying of cancer wanted for his birthday was your TV! And your Xbox! For free!”

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purity spiral slang

Purity spiral

What happens when a bunch of well-meaning people try to “out virtue” everyone else to prove what a good person they are. Eventually, it turns into the worst kind of echo chamber where only the most extreme views are rewarded and anyone who tries to disagree or add nuance is attacked.

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BTO slang


This is an acronym for “bathroom time off,” meaning the breaks you take during your workday to “go to the bathroom” but instead of just doing bathroom stuff you’re surfing the web, playing Candy Crush, sexting, or otherwise just chilling on the porcelain throne and avoiding your responsibilities.

These are the words even smart people mispronounce.

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zoomer slang


First, there were Boomers, then came “OK boomer” (as a snide comeback to an older person), and now we have a name for the generation of people saying “OK boomer”—the Zoomers, or generation Z. It is a beautiful irony that Zoomers are now linked through rhyme to the older generation. Meanwhile, Gen X and Gen Y are running the country. Can someone please make a witty limerick now?

Can you pass this quiz of fourth grade spelling words?

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heart horny slang

Heart horny

Anyone with hormones is familiar with the concept of feeling horny but in this day of Tinder hook-ups, people are craving something more personal. Saying you’re “heart horny” means you’re not just looking for sex but are desiring a real romantic connection. Awww!

You’re probably guilty of saying these redundant phrases.

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spun slang


Add this to the long, long list of ways to say someone is high! If there’s one consistent thing about drugs across the board, it’s that it makes people get really creative in describing doing them.

You’ll never look at these common palindromes the same way again.

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good vibes only slang

Good vibes only

In a time where negativity and bad news spews like an open firehose from the Internet, it makes sense that people are craving a little space for positivity. If that’s you, proclaim “Good vibes only!” to let others know that you need a break from all the bad stuff. Then put your headphones in and slowly walk away.

Take note of these words that make you sound old.

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it's clipped slang


Just like you’d snip the ending off of a bad scene in a movie, now you can clip out the bad parts of your movie reel of life. Or at least you can try by using this word. Saying something is “clipped” means that a situation or event is totally over, with no hope of redemption, the end.

Don’t miss these everyday phrases with surprisingly dark origins.

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weird flex but okay slang

Weird flex but okay

Flexing on someone is a way to one-up or prove you are better than someone else but by using it in this phrase, you’re expressing surprise at the strange way someone chose to try to beat you.

Can you guess which famous authors coined these common English words?

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potato new slang


Potatoes are delicious but make no mistake if someone calls you this, you’re anything but tasty. Calling someone a potato means they’re too dumb to be sentient while also being incredibly boring. Sad bonus: Calling yourself a potato means you think you are unattractive and your body is shapeless and lumpy.

You’ll love these amazing facts about the English language!

Reader's Digest
Originally Published on Reader's Digest