Some of us believe we were born in the wrong era, revelling in the thought of reading an actual novel, not an E-book.

Preferring love letters on actual parchment, to texts via WhatsApp.

We prefer horse drawn carriages to Uber…


[Insert sigh]

The bane of human existence however is the evolution of the English language into something incomprehensible.

As a millennial I border along the lines of rejecting my generation completely and wholeheartedly embracing our colloquial expressions due to the fact that older generations have no clue what’s going on.

It’s so much easier to communicate with friends because I doubt older folks would be able to decipher 80.5% of our lingo and buzzwords.

I always dissolve into giggles, when the buzzword ‘MILF’ floats about and non-millennials scrunch up their faces in absolute confusion.

However, I feel marginally awful for those that are left out of the millennial lingo loop.

Here’s a guide to millennial buzzwords, phrases and hashtags of 2017:


Translation: Fear Of Missing Out


Example: Your friends make awesome plans for the weekend but you’re already invited to a family function that is mandatory.

You see them post all their amazing pictures on Instagram and you comment with a simple —> #fomo. This states that we’re not there, you missed out on great memories and no other word/ term can accurately explain how left out you feel.


Translation: Sentimental term eluding to your significant other


Urban Dictionary says that is also means poop in Danish; so maybe don’t use it if you’re not sure how to place it in context.

|Sorry not sorry|

Fake apologies are part of the ethos when you are a Millennial.


People tend to use this in a sarcastic manner when they intend to insult someone or something.

They say sorry to not sound directly mean but in actual fact they don’t genuinely mean the apology.


It means that you’re elite, rich and bossy…Better described as a “bad bitch”.

Rapper Migos made a song based on the term and millennials are using it more than ever.

Watch video below:

|I can’t even|

*When you hear this phrase. Run.

Translation: It basically means that a person is annoyed or losing patience.

Example: Can you imagine being in the presence of a 24 year old boss lady and you drop coffee on her designer shoes and the only words that come out of her mouth are “I can’t even.” or “I can’t even deal”. You should basically kiss your job goodbye.

Gesture ⬇️


|The struggle is real|

Translation: When a millennial uses this phrase it pretty much means that they are going through a hard time.

Example: Being broke. The struggle is very real and I can actually vouch for that.


|On fleek|

Translation: Being “on fleek” pretty much means that something is well executed and is worthy of acknowledgement.

Personally I hate this phrase. It’s origin came from an Instagram post about perfect eyebrows.

Gesture ⬇️



Translation: Just Kidding.


Example: When someone makes a joke and wants you to pick up on it but obviously you weren’t paying attention so they had to give you a head’s up to catch up on the joke.

RELATED ARTICLE: Top 5 Movies SA Millennials will watch over and over again


Translation: To Be Honest.

This usually follows after a statement or before a millennial wants to tell you something without sounding too mean or if they don’t want to offend you…but still want to offend you.


For example a typical conversation would run something like this:

Millennial 1: “I can’t believe she actually had the guts to say that in front of the entire lecture room. I’ve always hated her for that.”

Millennial 2: “Well, no offense to you but I kind of like her TBH.”

And that is the end of that.

So, there you have it folks! You finally have a brief understanding of the most basic and most common buzzwords millennials use in 2017.

– Zuhaa Isaacs

Categories: Careers