Bhubaneswar: Language never stops evolving. Over the years, new words have been coined from those existing, while long and hard-to-remember terms have taken the form of abbreviations. Social media remains flooded with abbreviations, many among these invented by youngsters, who prefer to say little but express all.
Here are some of popular ‘lingo’, the Gen X in Odisha use on social media and in real life, too.
Lit – Usually used to show how amazing something or someone is, this is one of most-used words. Sanat Puri, a student here, said, “Lit is what we call ‘jhakaas’ in Hindi or ‘kassa’ in Odia.”
Bruh – These days, short for brother ‘bro’ has become ‘bruh’. It is used to express frustration or disappointment over something. Sometimes, also to make a sentence sound better. “Get a life bruh!”.
Imho – This is the abbreviation for ‘In my honest/humble opinion’. Now, who would use a long sentence if it can be put down in four letters? Such initialisms were used more on social media platforms like Twitter.
Done right – Social media apps often have stickers and emoticons ‘Done right’, that usually means that it was perfect. Amisha Das said she uses it after a long day out with friends as ‘Sunday done right’.
Ikr – I know, right? this again is a very popular abbreviation to describe the mutual understanding of something. Youngsters also use it when there’s something they already know or have experienced.
Thug life – Often used on social media to show how a person achieves his goals with nothing in hand and by overcoming all obstacles. However, the real meaning as given by Tupac Shakur, an American rapper, is “The Hate U Give to Little Infants F**ks Everyone’, which is also, the only studio album by Tupac. The album went through a lot of edits due to the controversial ‘gansta’ material to it like drug dealing.
Af – ( As f**k) This one is used to express extreme feelings. We can call it youngsters’ unit of measurement. As Tashmayee puts, “I am hungry af” to express her hunger.
Smh – (Shake my head) Whenever someone’s surprised, amazed or disappointed, they use smh to express the same. For example, “The teacher cracked a joke so lame we laughed at the lameness, smh.”
Basic – Basic is used to define something usual, boring or thoughtless. Some have also been using it to convey the importance or need of something.
Can’t even – Exasperated by something? Can’t even is what our folks on social media use. Well, they’re so frustrated, they ‘can’t even’ complete the sentence.
Fam – If you are the closest to your friend, you are more so their ‘fam’ or family. Fam can also be short for ‘From Another Mother’, and in both cases, the essence is the same. On that note, what’s up fam?
On fleek – When friend’s clothes or make up is perfect, it’s ‘On fleek’. Social media is flooded with on fleek to describe how flawless or exemplary something is.
There are numerous other abbreviations trending on social media.
Worth mentioning, Simon Horobin, professor of English Language and Literature at the University of Oxford, in his book ‘The English Language’, says acronyms and initialism have an old history. “…even the contemporary sounding OMG has been traced back by the OED (Oxford English Dictionary) to 1917,” he says in his book. He also mentions that LOL (Laugh out Loud) began as a feature of electronic discourse.