Millennial Slang 101: 10 Terms Social Media Managers Need to Know

Social media is second nature to millennials, and it’s no surprise that they use their own slang when posting, tweeting, and commenting. New terms that originate from popular memes or are abbreviated out of convenience constantly come up, and it’s sometimes difficult to keep up with all the trending lingo whether you’re Gen Y or not.

Do you often come across words or phrases you’ve never heard of? Here are the definitions of ten millennial slang terms and phrases to help you stay in the loop:     


i can’t even

Used when words can’t describe how a millennial feels about something.

“You did what? I can’t even.” 

i can’t even


Not safe for work.

“Don’t open that link! It’s nsfw.” 

Not safe for work (nsfw)


To excel or do really well.

“She slayed at the singing competition last night!” 



Shaking my head. It’s used to express disproval or disappointment.

“He should’ve been here 30 minutes ago! smh” 

Shaking my head (smh)


A term millennials use to refer to their group of friends.

“My squad always has my back.”



To be honest.

“I would rather not do that, tbh.” 

To be honest (tbh)


Short for “that feeling when,” it’s used to describe specific feelings one would have for a certain situation.

“TFW you have nothing to do on a weekend.”


that feeling when (tfw)

the struggle is real

A phrase millennials use to express difficulty or hardship.

“The struggle is real with this research paper I have to do!”

the struggle is real


To be aware or informed about relevant topics or issues.

“My whole squad is so woke!”




A happier or more enthusiastic version of “yes.” Sometimes spelled with multiple s’s or a’s.

“I passed the test! Yasss!”


You might know your social media technical jargon but to communicate in social networks you need to be familiar with emerging slang as well as signs that people are using. Speaking the language of your audience will help you to engage them more.

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