18 millennial phrases that wouldn’t have made sense in the 1980s

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Syd and Brooke Jacques take photos of themselves on their smart phones. FOMO is (BYU Photo)
Syd and Brooke Jacques take photos of themselves on their smart phones. Smart phones are one new technological innovation that would have confused people back in the 1980s. (BYU Photo)

What expressions are commonplace now that would have had no place 30 years ago when boomers were, well, booming?

We asked our Facebook audience what millennial expressions would have been lost on their parents, and here are our favorite answers.

  1. Let me take a selfie
    Selfies are nothing new. From early cavemen to Vincent Van Gogh to Kim Kardashian, humans have been taking pictures of themselves forever. The smart phone has made self-portraits far easier, which means they are everywhere on social media. Thus, the selfie.
  2. What’s the WiFi password?
    It’s a standard question to ask when people visit other’s houses. After all, data is precious and there are things to Google. Speaking of Googling…
  3. Googling it
    If there’s a debate on a subject and nobody knows the answer, Googling it will resolve that issue. Or further inflame things. It’s harder to predict now.
  4. First-World Problems
    Bed too warm to get out of in the morning? Too many shows to choose from on Netflix? Are your fingers too greasy to open another bag of chips? These are problems that would not exist in a developing country. They’re real annoyances, but not real problems.
  5. Twerking
    A form of provocative dancing involving squatting and rear thrusting. Don’t tell your mom. Don’t Google Miley Cyrus.
  6. Going viral
    Is there a plague? If someone is going viral, should people be worried? SHOULD WE BE WORRIED?
  7. Hashtag
    Originally called the pound key on the phone to press for more options, the number sign has been transformed into a method of researching trending topics on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. #trending
  8. Meme
    Speaking of trending, a meme — pronounced “meem” — can be a catchphrase or a concept that can spread all over the Internet. It can range from a funny picture on the internet to a viral seven-second video (“What are THOOOOOOOSE?”). Also, apparently it originated from Richard Dawkins in his book “The Selfish Gene.” Who knew?
  9. Bae
    No, it’s not short for “babe.” It is, in fact, an acronym, short for “Before Anyone Else.” It could be virtually anything, from a car to an ice cream cone to an actual person.
  10. Smartphone
    Virtually anything anybody does with a phone these days would be novel and bizarre to a time traveler from before 2000. People can email, text, or even “shoot” someone a text. They experience autocorrect problems and have expressed themselves extensively by emoji.
  11. Redbox
    Effectively the thing that killed Blockbuster. With the decline in hard copies of software, Redbox may go under someday as well.
  12. I can’t find a job with my college degree
    An unfortunate reality for many millennials today, especially ones who do not take the STEM route. May be a totally foreign concept to the previous generation.
  13. On fleek
    According to Urban Dictionary, this is the combination of “fly” and “sleek.” An expression that makes most people, even those of today’s generation, roll their eyes.
  14. My BFF made me LOL on FB
    Acronyms are easier when there’s only 140 characters and multiple things that need attention. And speaking of acronyms…
  15. FOMO
    Fear of Missing Out. Everyone has experienced this feeling since before the dawn of time (“What if the other cavemen have more meat than us?”). However, thanks to social media and the incredible ability humans have to compare their worst with others’ perceived best, FOMO is more prevalent.
  16. Just take an Uber
     It’s like a taxi, except you hail one from your phone. In fact, people can become Uber drivers and use their own car.
  17. We met on Tinder
    Tinder is often hit or miss. It was originally a hookup app. There’s some embarrassment in people’s voices when they say they met their spouse on Tinder.
  18. TL;DR
    Too long, didn’t read. Usually used for the lazy.
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