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Internet Slang: Explained


*** Warning: Like the internet itself, this guide contains some adult language and subject matter ***

Why Should I Care?

As much as technology, fashion, and people change, so does our lingo. Slang words and terms you see online and acronyms you see in text messages or chat applications are no different. When “groovy” turned into “tubular” and evolved into “awesome,” you knew you would have to keep up over time.

Knowledge of such phrases and words gives you access to understanding youth culture in addition to navigating your way through the online world without issue, from chat rooms to social media and even in email - internet slang is used in everyday conversations and interactions.


What is a Meme?

A meme is an image, text or video that’s copied and modified over and over again. Most of the time, people add their own funny change to the image or text. You’ve probably already seen a few memes, like Grumpy Cat or Confession Bear. Memes are actively shared by users on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.




   Common Internet Slang


When something/someone is basic, it lacks originality or style. Basic people (often referred to as Basic B***hes) often copy mainstream trends and are viewed as uninspired people who just following the status quo.

Burned / Roasted

To be dissed or to have a witty comeback to a diss.


To reject someone romantically.

Extra / OD

When someone is trying too hard or if a person is simply over the top, they might be referred to as "extra" or "OD". "OD" stands for over-doing it. "Extra" has a slightly less negative connotation. While both can be used as insults, people who are "extra" tend to embrace being extra - but no one really wants to be OD. People who are OD are generally seen as intense or obsessive.

Extra Crispy / Deep Fried Meme

A meme that has gone though so many iterations that it makes no sense anymore and is only funny due to the absurdity of how far it's gone. Usually enjoyed by people who knew about the meme from the beginning and enjoy laughing at the absurd and sarcastic.


To ignore someone on purpose. Ghosting is a common issue in modern dating, wherein one person will just randomly stop texting the other person without any explanation as to why. The sudden lack of response is like they died - hence, the term "ghosting".

I Can't Even

An expression that denotes so many emotional responses that the person can’t even comprehend or can't handle what has been said or seen. It can also be used any time that someone is so overwhelmed with a situation that they don't know what to do.

Just Sayin'

This phrase is used at the end of a sentence to show that it's not necessarily what you believe. Many times, it's a way to deliver a rude or mean sentence but make it seem less rude. 


A warning that what they're saying isn't something they want everyone to know (saying something 'on the low'). It can also be used when someone is being casual about something.

Netflix 'n Chill

To meet under the pretense of watching Netflix/TV together when the actual plan is to meet up for "making out" or sex.


To be bitter about something or someone.

Sip Tea / Spill Tea

'Tea' is slang for gossip or drama. To 'sip tea' is to mind your own business, or just sip back and watch the drama go down without partaking. To 'spill the tea' means to actively involve yourself in spreading that gossip.


To go away or leave. The word is meant to mimic the sound of a car's tires driving away fast. 


To succeeded in something amazing, to look fantastic, to knock it out of the park. If someone slays, they are killing the game.

Slide into DMs / Down in the DMs

A direct message, or DM, is a private communication between two users on Twitter or Instagram. If you slide into someone's DMs, it can sometimes be with a message that is of a more private nature, to flirt etc.


This term is short for "my wig was snatched". Originating from the Drag community, this term refers to great looks, fierceness, or something that is shockingly good. 

Straight Fire

Something or someone that is super hot, amazing or trendy.

Swol (or Swole)

When people say they want to 'get swol', that means they want to exercise and get as fit and muscular as they can. It is short for 'swollen'.


Being desperate for something. It is sometimes used with a sexual connotation, insinuating that the person is overzealous, too desperate for the object of their affection. 

Throw Shade / Shady

Throwing shade is to give someone a nasty look or say something unpleasant about them. If someone is shady, they are chronically judgmental and always ready to "throw shade".


Intenet trolls are people who take pleasure from starting disagreements and angering people. They usually post or respond to comments online in a way that is inflammatory so they can offend and annoy as many people as possible.

There's a saying online, "Don't feed the trolls." This means you shouldn't interact with someone who is "trolling" since it will only encourage them. Ignore the trolls.

You will usually find trolls hanging out on forums, but they can be anywhere online, from your Facebook or YouTube comments, to the comments section of a news article.