Getty Images / Kar-Tr

Things change so rapidly these days, that it’s easy to become unfamiliar with the trendy slang words that all the kids are saying. So, if you’re looking for the hottest slang words to make you sound cool, you’re going to need a crash course in slang for today from experts. Mind you, just because a slang word is popular, that doesn’t mean you have to adapt it into your vocabulary. But, if you’re curious what hot slang words are being used right now, here’s a tally.

The Hottest Slang Words to Make You Sound Cool

So, where does slang originate? Many times, these pop culture slang terms are first coined on a popular TV show, movie, video game or in popular music. For example, Beyoncé forever made popping the question extra cool with her 2008 single, “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It),” which got men and women talking about if they should “put a ring on it,” which sounds so much cooler than “get engaged.” Also, today, social media can birth slang words. Experts also note that many young people check out what slang words influencers on TikTok and Instagram are using in videos and photo posts. So, many trendy phrases and words originate on social media these days.

It’s also worth noting that while the Millennials were often known for the hottest slang words back in the day, today, it’s all about Gen Z and Gen Alpha. They’re the ones who are really setting the trends for slang words. It’s wild to think that Gen Alpha is already coining slang words. Generation Alpha are those born from 2010-2024, so they are super young right now. Can babies really coin slang terms? Not really, but the oldest kids in this generation are just now becoming teenagers, so it makes sense that they can start to have a real impact on pop culture and slang words and phrases. In fact, a recent viral TikTok post is super funny that shows a millennial mom, Jennifer Maxwell, enlisting her 10-year-old daughter to teach her some new slang terms. Things went not so well, and Maxwell said she really has “no idea” what her daughter is “saying half the time anymore.”

But, not all slang has to be so “extra.” There are some simple slang words and phrases that you can use now to sound hip, or as hip as possible. Now, let’s get into the hottest slang words to make you sound cool, from slang experts.

  • Extra

    I don’t like this slang term. It just sounds silly to me. But, “extra” means “overly dramatic” or “too much.” So, if someone says you’re extra, don’t say, “extra what?” Just tell them that they’re being “extra” for using the term.

    Woman looking surprised.

    Extra

  • Rent-free

    This is kind of a cute one. If you’re crushing on someone, you might say, “Hey, they are living rent-free in my head.” It means you have someone on your mind.

    Cute couple.

    Rent-free.

  • Cringe

    This is an interesting slang term, because it really means the same thing as its traditional definition. If someone says, “That’s so cringe,” they mean something is embarrassing or uncomfortable. Just typing this is kind of cringe for me.

    Couple making a cringe

    Cringe

  • Dope

    This one isn’t new, but dope is still, well, a dope slang term. It means “awesome.” So, if someone says something you did is dope, it’s a good thing.

    Guy with thumbs up

    Dope

  • Let's go

    This one might be getting old. But, the phrase “Let’s go” is super popular these days. I see almost every musician I follow use it when they announce a new release. I’m guilty of this, as you can see in the post below. It’s also popular at sporting events.

  • Betty

    A “Betty” is an attractive girl or a babe. Someone recently called me a Betty, and I admit that I had to search for the term online to see what the heck they meant. At first, I thought it was an insult.

    Woman in bathroom.

    Betty

  • OK Boomer

    This one is kind of funny. “OK Boomer” is really popular right now, and it’s basically when someone from an older generation is complaining or being condescending towards the younger generation. If someone hates the new music out there, you might say, “OK Boomer,” to them and shrug.

    OK Boomer sign.

    OM Boomer

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