Millennial language is a rich source of new words and phrases which, as fast as they are created by this generation, are then quickly adopted by the mainstream. Millennial language is the product of the relationship that the millennial generation have with the older generations, Generation X and the Baby Boomers – and also the product of the tech revolution. Millennials, also know as Gen Y, were born in the 80’s and 90’s and are the generation that are totally at ease with electronic gadgetry and internet technology and all the concepts around this 21st Century Technological revolution. The language of boomers – ‘cat’ for person, ‘psyche’, ‘groovy’ – are missing from millennial language or – as in ‘groovy’ are used but in a serious way. The millennial generation are a huge demographic – some 80 million which is 3 times the size of Generation X, the generation before them. Their tastes in food, in decor, in travel choices, in language set them apart from other generations. With their huge numbers, people are listening. They have become the taste-makers, in language as much as in anything else.
To be ironical but also to show that they are different to previous generations where to be cool was to be slightly cynical, millennials are dramatic, enthusiastic and optimistic. Their words reflect this and contain overly dramatic expressions, exclamation marks and exaggeration. Digital culture and gaming influences have shaped everyday jargon:
epic, win and fail are gaming terms used in millennial, now mainstream, language.
Common text terms such as LOL, WTF, FOMO typify what we call millennial language. BFF – best friend forever – and DM – direct message – are also text terms which have slipped into mainstream language.
Then there are the new words and phrases, plus the old words which mean new things. These words are used so much that they are bound to enter mainstream language. Words such as
fo shiz or fo shizzle means: definitely
ish: added to the end of a word to say you do not want to be exact about this word. 5-ish: you will be there at 5 p.m., or thereabouts.
word means: I agree.
bae means: a term of endearment
MCM Man Crush Monday
TL;DR Too long. Didn’t read.
Yaaas A very enthusiastic Yes!
ICYMI In Case You Missed It
Millennial language is a constantly moving phenomenon, and you need to refer to your online urban dictionary to stay relevant!