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Online Slang Part 2: Don’t Be a Sealion or I Will Subtweet You

August 9, 2019 • Social Media

Last week, we talked about some common online acronyms that you might come across while navigating the web. This week, let’s talk social media slang, so that you can get down with the Twitter crowd.

While this is by no means a complete list, we tried to pare it down to the phrases that we think you most need to know. Or the ones I find funny or especially annoying. Essentially, it’s a list. An arbitrary list. Just enjoy.

Ratioed: this comes up a lot with Twitter controversies. If someone is “ratioed”, that means that the comments on their post vastly outnumber the likes or retweets. It’s a pretty good indication that the person who made the original tweet is going to be issuing an apology soon. If you, as a business, use twitter regularly, this is definitely something you want to watch out for. (Though, for a business, it isn’t always bad. You can get a lot of attention this way, and attention can lead to new business. But as a general rule, beware the ratio.)

Stan: Originating from an Eminem song about an obsessive fan, now it just means that you are a big fan of someone. For instance, don’t piss off Beyonce or Taylor Swift stans on social media, unless you enjoy being harassed (they don’t call it the Beyhive for nothing!). If someone says they Stan your business, be very, very flattered.

Clapback: This is where someone stands up for themselves – the new “comeback”. Wendy’s is a business that does this fantastically on social media. Someone will try to roast them, and then Wendy’s claps back and wins the internet.

Gucci: This one makes me roll my eyes all the way. It essentially is a descriptor meaning “good”. I, personally, would refuse to do business with anyone who used it. But hey, that’s just me.

Keeping it 100 or just 💯:  Keeping it real, being 100% truthful. This often follows a statement that might be controversial – “I’m just keeping it 100.” Somewhat related is the phrase “hundo P”, which means 100 percent.

JOMO: If you completely missed it, FOMO, or the fear of missing out, has been around for about a decade online. Now we have JOMO, or the joy of missing out. I for one embrace missing out on things. It usually means I am at home and don’t have pants on, and I enjoy that very much. JOMO is the language of introverts.

GOAT: Greatest of All Time. My niece recently pointed out that Groat Road could easily be considered the Greatest Road of All Time. Which makes me laugh.

Side note: You may have noticed that the last two on this list are technically acronyms. I forgot about them last week. It’s fine. Just roll with it.

Salty:  This is when someone gets angry or bitter or complains a lot. It isn’t always necessarily bad -sometimes people appreciate a bit of salt.

Woke:  This is one of those terms that can get some eyes a’rollin, but it essentially means someone who is socially conscious. It’s a positive term that, because it has been overused, can often be co-opted to mock people who care about things. You’ll have to judge by context if someone is being genuine when they use the term, or mocking.

Fam: This might literally refer to one’s family, or to a group of friends, or even just to someone’s online community. If someone calls you fam, depending on the tone, it is most likely positive. Though I have seen it in many a clapback.

Facepalm: Wow. That was embarrassingly stupid. Just imagine what might precede you taking your hand and smacking it to your forehead in dismay.

Headdesk: Facepalm, but worse.

Troll: Someone who wants to start a fight, just for the sake of starting a fight. They might start out asking what you assume to be a genuine question, but then it becomes obvious that they just want to sow a little online discord. They live to provoke reactions, which is why the phrase “don’t feed the trolls” is popular online. It essentially means don’t engage with people who are just looking for a reaction.

Sealioning: This is a type of trolling that specifically looks to harass people with persistent requests for more research or evidence. It can look like debate, but it isn’t, because no amount of evidence is ever enough. If you ever find yourself accused of sealioning, you should probably disengage.

Twitter Egg: When someone wants to remain anonymous or sets up a new Twitter account, usually for the purposes of trolling, their profile picture is just the default white egg on a blue background. It’s usually used synonymously with troll.

Subtweet: A message that is clearly referencing a particular person without directly mentioning them. It’s passive-aggressive social media-ing.

Vaguebooking: An intentionally vague post that seems to want people to ask questions. Maybe someone says they are so excited, but don’t say why – that’s vaguebooking.

Honestly, these were just some phrases off the top of my head. There are plenty of them. I just wanted to give you a fun little lesson in online speak and I hope it was helpful, or at least amusing.

If it wasn’t, subtweet me.

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