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9 modern slang phrases broken down and explained

Know your “thot” from your “bae”.

NEED HELP KNOWING your bae from your side chick? Don’t know what it means to “throw shade”? Fear not, because we are here to break down nine pop culture slang terms that may have you scratching your temples.

1. Bae

Short for “baby” or “babe”.

According to Visual Thesaurus, the term has been appearing in rap songs since 2005, but we have reached peak bae in the past few months with Pharrell releasing Come Get It Bae and Time penning an explainer on what the term means.

There is a prevailing theory that the term is an acronym for “before anyone else”. That definition was put forward by a Twitter user in 2011, but has since been widely discredited, although it has entered the public consciousness.

2. Thot

Acronym for “that hoe over there”.

Popularised by rapper Chief Keef in his 2013 song “Love No Thotties,” the term has been popping up everywhere of late. Beyoncé used the term (“These thots can’t clock me nowadays”) in a remix of Flawless that was released last week, while the word popped up in Katy Perry’s video for This Is How We Do.

thotkatyperry Source: KatyPerryVEVO/YouTube

3. Ratchet

This term has different definitions with most positive and negative connotations attached. Let’s look at what the ever-trustworthy Urban Dictionary has to say.

  • “A diva, mostly from urban cities and ghettos, that has reason to believe she is every man’s eye candy. Unfortunately, she’s wrong.”
  • “As an adjective, it describes a person, usually a woman, or activity, who is out of hand, out of control, generally whack in some way, dirty, ghetto, unattractive, Crucian, or just generally disliked.”

It also may refer to a dance craze, but is also sometimes used as a blanket term to describe anything pertaining to black culture.

You may remember when Miley Cyrus began throwing the term around last year.

mileyratchet1 Source: E!

It wasn’t popular.

solanceratchet Source: Jezebel

bust Source: Bust

4. Turned up/Turnt up

Urban Dictionary, tell us what “turnt up” means.

A state of altered consciousness induced by alcohol or narcotics, also being happy and excited and energetic! And/or having fun.

Used by Miley Cyrus in We Can’t Stop (“We all so turned up here”) and Ciara in her song Super Turnt Up.

5. Drank/Sizzurp/Lean/Purple Drank

A concoction made from cough syrup and fizzy drinks enjoyed by people like Justin Bieber, Lil Wayne and Soulja Boy. (Consumption of the drink can have adverse health effects and has been responsible for several deaths.)

Tweet by @Soulja Boy Montana Source: Soulja Boy Montana/Twitter

You’ve heard it referenced in Kanye West’s Through The Wire (“Somebody ordered pancakes, I just sip the sizzurp”), Beyonce and Nicki Minaj’s Flawless (Remix) (“All this drank in my cup like this”) and Jay-Z’s Big Pimpin (“Smoking out, pouring up, keeping lean up in my cup”).

6. Slay

To impress or “kill”.

Tweet by @Ingine PPP Source: Ingine PPP/Twitter

7. Stuntin’

Per Urban Dictionary:

High class flashing of your jewelry, money, riches, etc.

So, it basically means showing off.

You may have heard it used in the chorus of Katy Perry’s This Is How We Do (“Straight stuntin’, yeah we do it like that”) and Iggy Azalea’s Fancy (“Still stunting, how you love that/Got the whole world asking how I does that”).

8. Side chick

AKA “the other woman”.

Kim Kardashian used the term in this Instagram post last week.

sidechick Source: Kim Kardashian/Instagram

The term has also been bouncing around the place in the last few weeks thanks to this woman who claims to be Jay-Z’s “side chick” releasing a diss track aimed squarely at Beyoncé.

sidehickjayz Source: Google

9. Shade

Per our old friend Urban Dictionary:

Acting in a casual or disrespectful manner towards someone/dissing a friend

To “throw shade” means “to take a superior attitude; to criticize, demean, or insult; to diss or derogate.”

tumblr_mv02nmq2lN1ql5yr7o1_500 Source: realitytvgifs/Tumblr

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About the author:

Amy O'Connor

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