Best Of 2023: From Delulu, Girl Math To Gen Z, Words That Ruled Conversations And Social Media Posts

Best Of 2023: From Delulu, Girl Math To Gen Z, Words That Ruled Conversations And Social Media Posts

As we bid farewell to the year, take a playful dive into linguistic realm, foraging idioms that dominated conversations and social media posts

Manasi Y MastakarUpdated: Thursday, January 04, 2024, 04:16 PM IST
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Pic: Freepik

Gen Z dictionary

Welcome to the Gen Z world, where everything is either abbreviated or variated. For example, ‘delulu’ and ‘solulu’ — better known as delusional and solutions for the older generation.

Social media was abuzz with ‘corrupted’ words like these. Words like fam (family), sheesh (hyping someone who’s looking good or doing something good), salty (jealous or upset over someone), stan (stalker+fan, but not in a creepy, obsessed way), glow up (transformation from bad to beautiful), high-key (opposite of low-key), living rent-free (can’t stop thinking about someone, something), main character (well-liked person or someone who commands attention), thirst trap (sexy selfies), sksksk (convey happiness or laughter)… the list goes on.

 Then there are annoying acronyms like TFW (that feeling when), idgaf (I don’t give a f**k), Iykyk (if you know, you know), TNTL (try not to laugh), GMTA (Great minds think alike), IMO / IMHO (in my opinion / in my humble opinion), CSL (can’t stop laughing), SSDD (same stuff, different day), WYWH (wish you were here), YNK (you never know), and hundreds more!

Morally grey

For the major part of the year, the Bookstagram and Booktok community was gungho about dark romance and romantasy (romance+fantasy) with heroes whose moral compass was skewed (they made Christian Grey from the Fifty Shades series look lame). Novels like the Twisted series and the King series by author Ana Huang, Highest Bidder by Lauren Landish and W. Winters, Haunting Adeline by H.D. Carlton, The Never King by Nikki St. Crowe, Of Flesh & Bone series by Harper L Woods, and The Ritual by Shantel Tessier among numerous others ruled the year. To complement the reading lists and readers’ moods, singers like Apple Jai (Morally Grey), Khloe Rose (Fictional), and Bryce Savage (Easy to Love) among others came with special tracks. The year 2023 for fans of this genre was all about smutty reads and simp-worthy fictional men!

-ing, -ed 

This one is funny, with no constructive meaning but conveys the message nonetheless. For example, ‘my brain is not braining’ (I can’t think), ‘when s/he babied’ (adult behaving like a baby), ‘babying’ (to treat someone like a baby), thirsting (simping over someone).

Situationship, Parasocial relationship

Move over ghosting, it’s time for situationship. Simply put, a situationship means you are more than friends but not in a relationship. You got yourself in a situationship!

Parasocial relationship is mostly associated with K-pop fandoms. The practice of K-pop idols doing lives on social media to keep in touch with their fans is a common practice in South Korea. These lives, despite being at random hours and about random subjects, get fans emotionally invested in their idol. Making them feel like they are in a parasocial relationship with the celebrity. For example, K-pop boy band BTS’ Jung Kook did numerous random lives. We saw him cook, clean the house and kitchen, do karaoke, fold underwear, fall sleep (reportedly, six million people tuned in to watch him sleep), talk about mundane stuff, and a host of other things.

Girl Math

Girl math entails women justifying their expensive financial purchases. For instance, buying pretty sandals that cost Rs 5,000. But, those sandals will, say, last a year. So, 365 days divided by Rs 5,000, which comes to around Rs 14 a day… paisa wasool, right?

The popularity of girl math spawned boy math (a man makes a pricey purchase and to appease his wife/girlfriend buys something nice for her), cousin math (you mess with one, a dozen others will knock on your door for revenge), etc.

Greenwashing

‘With great power, comes great responsibility,’ Spider-Man once said. In similar vain, with sustainability came greenwashing. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines greenwashing as “the act or practice of making a product, policy, activity, etc. appear to be more environmentally friendly or less environmentally damaging than it really is”.

Let’s commence the New Year on a linguistically blessed note, since 2023 ended on an ‘authentic’ (‘word of the year’ by Merriam-Webster dictionary) note.

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