The VICE Guide to Slang in 2017 (According to a 20-Year-Old VICE Employee)
Everything you need to know about never using “lit” again.
2016 was a bad year for society.
If you thought it was a good year, you were probably high or drunk (maybe both). That's not to say, as individuals, the year sucked, but collectively, we kind of fucked things up: across the world, we are experiencing a climate of political, social, and environmental instability not seen since the mid-20th century.
This was also a year dominated by memes. From Harambe to Trump, memes become more culturally relevant than any year before. Everyone trades in memes. Gone are the times that Pepe the Frog existed harmlessly on niche sites like 4Chan before becoming a mascot for the alt-right—the lifespan of memes now oscillates between short and infinite. There is no in between.
With 2017 on the horizon, we (I) here at VICE thought it would be a good idea to help people transition into the next 365 days with only the most cutting-edge in slang on their minds. We understand this conversation may frustrate you, and that you are likely going to think, "Wow, I remember when VICE still wrote about issues of substance!" That's OK. We expected that.
Words that can stay
Amil Niazi (Associate Editor, VICE Canada): Greatest of all time, right?
Jake Kivanc (Staff Writer, VICE Canada): Yeah, but GOAT is only funny when you say it hyperbolically. Like, if you bring me spaghetti for lunch and I'm really hungry, that's GOAT. You're GOAT.
Amil: I get it, OK.
Sasha Kalra (Social Producer, VICE Canada): I agree. It should stay. GOAT is GOAT. It's a self-fulfilling slang term.
Amil: Who invented GOAT? Kanye? Jay-Z? Michael Jordan's the GOAT. He's a GOAT, right?
Jake: Nobody's the GOAT. There are many GOATs, but singular GOAT means basically nothing because nobody can really be the greatest of all time.
Jake: "2016 is trash." It sounds great.
Amil: I like trash, and I think a lot of things are trash, but I actually think trash is done. I think we need to go back to garbage.
Sierra Bein (Former VICE Canada Intern): I was going to say, garbage is better.
Sasha: I support trash. It's one syllable. It's fun to say. Garbage is two syllables, it's too cumbersome. What sounds better: "You're a trash human," or, "You're a garbage human"? Trash human, obviously.
Amil: Nah, I like garbage better.
Jake: OK, I guess garbage does sound better sometimes. Maybe trash can go.
Sierra: We need a better word than both of these.
Amil: Oh yeah. "You're a waste human."
Jake: That's it.
Sasha: Consensus reached.
Sasha: I thought this originally meant [French.]
Jake: Have you guys ever used an acronym to talk to people IRL?
Amil: No, I would never say 'FR' to a person.You can say forreal, but you can't say, "Hey, you're trash — FR." Do you guys ever type FR?
Jake: All the time.
Sasha: F and R are close on the keyboard—it feels nice.
Jake: I enjoy when people say 'FR.' Like, "I'm coming over fr." True. I can believe you now.
Ami: I think millennials need too much justification to use words. I'm coming over—just believe that it's real.
Sierra: This is a pass.
Jake: OK, fine, I'll take the L.
*producer asks us if we can talk about "taking the L"*
Jake: If you tell me a joke that isn't funny—L. Take the L. If you take it responsibly, it might turn into a W [in the future].
Sierra: There's a politician who's used this too much.
Amil: Norm Kelly.
Sasha: By [using the L] too much, he's actually taking Ls because he's sort of ruined it.
Sierra: He overused it. The Meek Mill-Drake beef was worthy of the L, but after that, I don't know how much it was properly used.
Amil: Can we agree that Norm Kelly ruins slang?
Jake: Yes. If Norm Kelly came in this room right now and started reading these words, they'd all have to go because they'd all be ruined.
Sasha: That'd be very waste of him.
Amil: Norm Kelly is waste. L.
Sasha: Does it have two S' on the end of it or only one? Because I've seen both.
Jake: It's a perfect word, so I like to think of it symmetrically with only one S on the end.
Sasha: What if something is incredibly sus? Like, sussssssss.
Amil: It's short for suspect, right? There should only be one S.
Sasha: Well, look at what we're doing here.
Amil: You're right, this is pretty sus. I'm beginning to use sus. It's a fun word to use, it's like the new NARC. Normally I'd call someone a NARC, and now I'm like, "They're sus." Which brings up one thing—feds.
Sasha: That's another millennial way of saying you're going to snitch me out. Feds is more specific. Like, spaghetti can be sus.
Jake: "Oh wow, my bank card got declined. That's sus." Way funnier to use.
Sasha: So when you take Snapchats of all of us working, that's sus?
Sierra, Amil: Very sus.
Sierra: I have mixed feelings.
Sasha: See, I thought gassed meant you're feeling yourself. If someone's in an incredible mood, they're feeling gassed.
Jake: I know of that use, but that's not I'm used to. Someone could be gassed because they're fired up.
Amil: So "gassed" is mad and excited?
Jake: It could be either or both. I think it's scenario-specific. I've come across more people who were gassed in an angry way than a fun way. You can also be "off the gas"—gas being weed.
Amil: I never seen it before today, but I would use it.
*cameraman Dana Lavoie goes into coughing fit*
Jake: He's off the gas, for sure.
Words That Gotta Go
Jake: Savage is done. Over. It's way too mainstream.
Amil: Someone can do something savage, but they can also be a savage, right?
Jake: Right, but it's just not a fun word to use anymore. It lost its punch.
Sierra: It's boring, it's offensive, and it's had it's time.
Jake: I'm glad we got 21 Savage out of it.
Amil: What is Twenty One Pilots?
Jake: I'm pretty sure it's a band. Troy, is it a band?
Troy Manning (behind camera): It's a band. A horrible band.
Amil: There shouldn't be anymore 21 artists.
Jake: 21 Guns, anyone remember that Green Day song? It was a, wait for it.
Jake: Can we please never use this word again?
Sasha: When I was in high school, people called parties bangers. When I was in university, people called parties bangers. When I became an adult, people still fucking called parties bangers. We gotta stop it.
Amil: We can do better than banger. It's meaningless at this point. Plus, some people refer to everything as a banger.
Sierra: That's what I was going to say. Back in my day, people used to refer to every raging party as a banger. It's too much.
Amil: Also, it's got that gross mouthfeel.
Sierra: It sounds like sex.
Jake: "This song's a banger, this movie's a banger." Because it hit mainstream success, now every whack person is using banger. Like, "Yo, dude, wanna go to this party down the street?" You get there and it's seven dudes standing there drinking Pabst.
Sasha: Think more about rager. What about shaker? Shaker is great.
Amil: [Jake,] didn't you say a kneeslapper earlier or something?
Jake: No! A song can be a slapper. It's more nuanced. It all depends on if the song slaps or claps.
Amil: This is a sad day for you, Jake. What did lit mean to you?
Jake: Oh, it meant everything. When Rae Sremmurd dropped 'Lit Like Bic', we hit a pivotal moment for our culture. Whatever you imagined was normal, you just took a lighter and—-BOOM, it was lit.
But then people started saying "Lit AF" on every single thing. Fire emojis, moaning faces. I had enough. It lost its coolness.
Amil: You'd be at a party and be like, "It's lit."
Jake: If someone says a party is "lit" now, I'm definitely not coming through, because the person using it doesn't go to any good parties.
Sierra: Especially if they say it's a banger.
Sasha: If they say it's a banger, you turn on your read receipts so they can see you read it and you didn't respond.
Amil: But Jake, when I first met you as a 19-year-old, you said "lit" every other sentence.
Jake: I know, but it was still kind of popping. I started to kill it when I turned 20.
Sierra: I started hearing "lit" from people you wouldn't expect to be saying it, and it threw me off. I would rather say "fire."
Jake: I agree. Fire is good, it's timeless. Heat. This is HEAT.
Sasha: Heater. Heater is a little hockey bro-esque?
Amil: Yeah, I agree. The guy who's telling you the party's a heater isn't texting you either—he's calling you because he doesn't know how to text properly and is yelling in your ear.
Sasha: I feel like once anything makes its way to the Ellen DeGeneres show, it's dead. Like, when Ellen used the dab, it was dead.
Amil: Which is the natural life cycle of language. That's why we're doing this, so people know what they can't say.
Jake: Woke has gotta go, because apparently it means nothing—everybody who said they were woke in 2016 fucking failed, so let's just scrap this.
Amil: What does it mean to be woke?
Jake: Woke was ideally to be politically and socially aware to the whole game. To see the bigger picture and not get duped by social trends, political lies, etc.
Amil: Donald Trump proves that people are definitely not woke.
Jake: I think we live in a society in which people think Trump is woke. Like, "Oh my god, he knows the game, bro!" In reality, it's the opposite. Woke has lost meaning. To be woke before meant to know the truth, but people make up their own now.
Sierra: Near the tail end, people started using woke to be cool. "That's so woke." It's a joke.
Jake: We gotta stop using daddy, I can't fucking do it anymore.
Amil: OKAY, what's daddy? Who's daddy?
Jake: Daddy originated as a slang term in the LGBTQ/sex positive community and now it's migrated to the mainstream to say that any attractive man is daddy.
Amil: Is it just that you find them attractive or is it that you want them to be your daddy?
Jake: It could be both but it's fucking weird.
Sierra: Has anyone heard of #DaddyGate? It was this whole shitstorm on Twitter because LGBTQ communities said that any straight person using "daddy" was appropriating daddy.
Amil: So, you'd only be using daddy to say that you want to have sex with that person? Because Obama is daddy.
Sierra: Norm Kelly is daddy.
Sasha: Any famous man who is liked online is daddy.
Jake: Amil, can you imagine getting tweets from people that read, "MOMMY *moaning face*"?
Amil: I'd be about it.
Jake: Watching from the outside, it's kind of repulsive.
Sasha: Go to the mentions of any famous person and you see it. "DADDY AF."
Jake: Go to the Pope's mentions and you literally see, "Daddy fuck me." At this point, I've been around kids too much. I don't have kids yet, but if a kid walks up to his father and says to him, "Daddy!" I get flashbacks to these Twitter mentions and loud moaning Vines.
Sierra: You've been triggered.
Amil: I just don't get it. I don't understand why people are calling others daddy on Twitter.
Sasha: I feel like that's the point.
Jake: Okay, I don't want to talk about this anymore. Can we get rid of it?
Amil: I never wanted to keep it!
Sasha: We can get rid of it but I want to recognize that one of the best moments in this country's history is when Justin Bieber commented on Drake's Instagram photo and said, "damn daddy."
Jake: Finesse means to get something through shady means. You cheated or found a shortcut to getting something you wanted it. I'm done with it. People who actually use finesse heavily tend to be actual shitty human beings who do awful things to others, in my experience.
Amil: But it was the year of the scamming. Shoutout to Joanne. Be truthful about your intentions.
Sasha: It sounds like an operation.
Amil: Just call it scamming.