The Evolution of Words

Marimar Gutierrez '15 and Erica Mack '15

The world of social media and text messaging lingo has left the Oxford English Dictionary’s head spinning. These words derive from common words that were in everyday conversations. As social platforms and conversation techniques are constantly evolving, so around words that are being used. As new words are being created, their popularity is boosted when celebrities use them or when singers use them in their songs.

Sometimes, we doubt the meanings of these words; they might sound completely out of this world or they fit right into the common conversation. Sometimes, the word becomes so that it is even added to the dictionary. In 2013, the word “selfie” was officially added to the online Oxford dictionary. Other words such as “mwahahaha”, “wassup”, and “meep” also exist in the online dictionary.

Each year, new and unique words spring out of the media and internet. In 2014, a whole array of new words were introduced from phrases like “I can’t even” to an enthusiastic “yaaaass”. These words can be normal, run-of-the-mill words found in dictionaries with a unique twist or words that have no real meaning.

Basic, ship, on fleek, squad, and throwing shade has also been a few of the most popular words of 2014. Urban Dictionary helps with understanding the street lingo, and users provide definitions and examples of these words. They may not mean the same thing in the Oxford Dictionary but the Urban Dictionary provides clear definition on how to use these words in context.

 

 

Basic Urban Dictionary Definition:

 

Basic

This is the when you use a common adjective to describe a common girl does anything else that everyone else does. The girl that has no identity of her own but blends in with the crowd. This is usually a stereotype.

Example:

Look how basic that girl is in her outfit.

Basic

Ship

Usually within fandoms, when people want two characters in their fandom to have a relationship: being friends, or having a relationship of any sort.

Example:

You know, I use to ship Harry and Hermione; I thought they were perfect for each other.

 

Ship

On Fleek

On point, a way to describe something that is accurately done or built. You use it when someone’s feature or accessory of your liking.

Example:

Ok, but your eyebrows are on fleek, how did you do that?

On Fleek

 

Squad

A group of friends. These are the people that you normally hang out with.

Example:

*sees your group of friends*

SQUUAAAAD

Squad Up

 

Throwing Shade

Publicly calling someone out on what they did, or how the shade thrower is feeling about the person they are throwing shade too.

Example:

Macy was throwing shade at Jenny all day because Jenny was comparing herself to Macy.

Throw the Shade

 

 

Words such as the ones listed above have become increasingly popular; they appear on many social media platforms, used on TV, and they even in songs. They are immortalized in these songs and shows. It seems that younger generations use these terminologies more, but as the words become more common, older generations start to catch on as well.