Urban Lingo – Fun Fads or Epic Fails?

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Whenever I hear the term “epic fail” I think of how much I dislike urban slang, even though I use it more than I’d like to admit.

When someone says “epic fail” I think of disaster of…well…epic proportions. Major stuff…nuclear accidents, plague, locusts, stuff like that. Certainly not the barista forgetting to make your double-shot Venti a skinny or Chick-Fil-A being closed on Sunday.

[Tweet “When I hear “epic fail” I expect to see plague or locusts. #UrbanLingo”]

Here are a few more snippets of urban lingo that get my drawers in a twist…and yes, I realize “drawers in a twist” is probably considered urban slang.

My friend asked the barista (I know, barista is probably urban slang and I’ve already said it twice) for a cup of ice water with her coffee, declaring herself to be the “thirstiest girl ever.” This caused the gaggle of teenage girls in line behind her at Starbucks to erupt in to a fit of giggles.

Some of you may be snickering. Some of you may be scratching your head without a flippin’ clue as to why someone saying she was thirsty and needed a drink of water was even remotely ha ha.

If you’re hip (or between the ages of fourteen and twenty-five) you know thirsty means horny. On the hunt. Looking to “getcha some.” I had to have someone explain it to me a few months ago when I questioned why there was so much water cooler chit chat over a certain female coworker’s thirst. It’s hard to keep up with what the cool kids are saying these days, right?


Or is it cray cray? Or is there a hyphen? So confusing.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know cray-cray (I’m a fan of the hyphen) is a euphemism for crazy. I’m gonna wave my hands in the air and wholeheartedly admit to overusing this one. As in:

People who don’t replace the toilet paper roll make me cray-cray; or

Those kids wearing shorts in 30 degree weather? Well, they must be cray-cray!

Yadda yadda, you get the idea. Is “yadda yadda” urban slang? I’m not sure. Why say cray-cray? It has the same amount of syllables as crazy so it’s not an abbreviation. Who knows? It is kinda fun to say, though.

Hilar and Totes Adorbs

I list these together because I’m not sure which one annoys me more. In case you can’t figure it out, these are abbreviations for hilarious and totally adorable.

I’ll admit to never having actually heard anyone say these things out loud, so maybe they’re just ways to shorten Facebook statuses because people are too lazy to type ious? I guess I could probably excuse a 14 year-old girl for describing a kitten as “totes adorbs” but it would sound kind of weird coming from an adult.

Awesome Sauce

Guilty. This one is just fun to say. I like to think awesome sauce is just a notch above ordinary awesomeness.


I absolutely cringe when someone refers to something nice as sick, especially if that someone is older than the cutoff age to be considered a millennial. I recently heard a forty-something dude describe a sound system as sick when talking to a much younger guy. Maybe he was trying to be relatable…but just no.

That said, when I was a teen (which was exactly a long effing time ago) the catch phrase to describe something that was extra good was bad, or if my parents weren’t listening, badass. I still say this sometimes, so it shouldn’t really rub me wrong to hear a double cheeseburger or an episode of The Big Bang Theory described as sick…but it does.

Urban Lingo - Fun Fads or Epic Fails?|Ripped Jeans and Bifocals Blog|@JillinIL|urban slang|www.rippedjeansandbifocals.com

Slang comes and goes. Over the past few decades, we’ve used groovy, outta site, bitchin’ and my personal favorite, off the hook to describe stuff we like. We use words like bounce, split, and jet when we could just say “hey, I’m leaving now.”

Who knows why slang is so attractive but no matter what generation’s cray-cray crazy catch phrases you adapt, there is some sort of universal appeal to using slang. Maybe it gives you a feeling of belonging. Maybe it’s just more fun to say “uber” instead of a bunch and “vajayvay” instead of vagina.

[Tweet “Maybe it's more fun to say “uber” instead of lots and “vajayjay” instead of vagina? #UrbanLingo”]

I’ve talked about how urban lingo makes me wanna roll my eyes sky high and yes, I’m aware that I’ve used good n’ plenty of slang in trying to illustrate that it annoys me. But you won’t catch me saying “totes adorbs”…not even about a cute puppy.

What urban lingo pushes your buttons?


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  1. OMGosh. I’m not hip. I am never saying thirsty in public again. I’m may be out of hip style. I still say, “That’s hot.” Thanks for the education! The others I knew about. I really hate vajayjay.

  2. this made me laugh. I work and live with teenagers, and I’m constantly confised or giggling at their lingo. Thank gawd for Urbam Dictionary! I did teach a really fun lesson on slang at the start of the year…kinda let them know I was cool. Or sick.

  3. I did not know that about thirsty either! FTSF is so illuminating.
    Does this apply to writing? Because i’d like to remove all lists (top 10) and the.use.of.a.period.to.show.emphasis. or using hashtags to reply but not really using a hashtag, like in an email.
    Ok. #endrant

  4. Thirsty?? Wow..I’m gonna have to say that out loud in a crowd of twenty somethings….whenever that will be. I just know it must be done! The reaction would be “amazeballs”

  5. My sons say “I’ma gonna smash on that!”–which has been interpreted to me to mean…”I am going to eat that!”…Ummmm, you couldn’t just say that? Drives me crazy! (Or cray-cray)

  6. The only reason I know the term Epic Fail is because of my fourteen year old son who over-uses it. I’m over Cray-cray and totes too! Mostly because my daughter:). Anyway, whenever I use the terms, the kids laugh at me!

  7. I recently saw an episode of Catfish (this show is an entirely different post altogether) and a couple young kids under 20 met up for the first time. I was lost in their lingo. I had no idea what they were talking about but felt really old listening to them. They were actually talking in emojis. It was then that I realized now why my parents and grandparents used to get so annoyed with me when I was a teenager. But, I’ll take “rad” over “totes” any day of the week.

  8. I had never heard that “thirsty” one before (oy, I’m obviously getting way past the age of being hip…oh wait, I never was!) My sister, who is younger than me, likes to abbreviate EVERTYHING. Drives me up a wall sometimes.

  9. All excellent points. I had no idea about “thirsty”. And I cringe too with the word “sick”. Honestly I don’t think anyone can pull that off with out sounding like they are trying just a little too hard.

  10. Thirsty = horny? How did I not know this?? You’re totes adorbs by the way and I think that awesomesauce is an awesome awesome word! I remember in college, this one girl used to say “tonar” for totally gnarly, dude. It was stupid and thank GAWD it never caught on. Sorry for the totes adorbs thing. I couldn’t really help myself.

  11. Yep, slang. I’ve basically given up on trying to keep current with hipster slang, because it just takes too much work. Instead, I make a point of finding really old slang (groovy, way out, OMG, etc.) and make it a point of working it into my conversation. My silly way of raging against the misappropriation of perfectly good words like thirsty or taint or (my personal non-favorite) “sing a Disney song”.

  12. I think we’ve all learned an important lesson here today:
    Anything can be an innuendo.
    Who knew?
    Oh, right. We learned this here today.
    Thank you, because in all honesty, as I am over (some age) I did not, in fact know some of this
    vernacular, and although I may not be a *better* person now that I do, I will certainly be less embarrassed.

  13. My 10 year old and his friends say “derp” or “derpy”. I’m pretty sure they think it just means “messed up” … as in “that cupcake you just baked is so derp.”

    But according to Huff Po it means this: “A derp is another name for a dumbass, while a derpina is a female dumbass” as in “Ugh, he lost my keys again, such a derp.”

    Kinda proud that my son and his 5th grade friends have assumed a more benign meaning. I guess that’s what middle school is for!

  14. So my 7th grader actually says “totes adorbs” OUT LOUD. Drives me crazy — or should I say cray-cray? Another one that gets my goat? “I can’t even!” Even what?! I’ll admit to loving awesomesauce. Seems totally appropriate when chitchatting with my three-year-old. Also, thanks for cluing me in to what thirsty really means. I think I that means I now have a certain reputation at my local coffee shop.

  15. The new one that drives me nuts…on fleek. We have a 14 year old that uses it incessantly and I heard a national DJ say it, which made me say noooooo! It’s supposed to mean looking good or awesome, but I can’t stand it!

  16. Good article, however, you chose the most annoying/cheesiest of all slangs – “awesome sauce” as your guilty favourite! Epic fail dude! Epic fail…..hehehehe

  17. This made me LOL (and I personally hate those, ROFL, LOL, FML….they are epic fails….)

    I quite like totes, and I am guilty of using it with my friends when we are being ironic/old enough to know better!!

    I definitely had to tweet the above though, I nearly wet myself at that one (quite easy to achieve whilst 7 months pregnant and laughing!!)

    Laura @ Life with Baby Kicks

  18. Thanks for the totes hilar blog post! 😉 I too feel like an crotchety old lady when I hear these terms. They are just so ridic. The “thirsty” was new to me!
    Thanks for linking up to the Best of the Blogosphere with us! Hope to see you again next week! 🙂

  19. You had me at awesome sauce! Thanks for the heads up about “thirsty”. We live in a college town and I have never heard that one (or maybe just wasn’t paying attention to the snickers!). Thanks for saving me some embarrassment!!!

  20. I’m thirsty? That’s one of the seven last words of Christ on the cross. Ivd hate to sit in on a confirmation class these days.