Most everyone uses slang, but we don’t always know what it means, new research reveals. A poll of 15-hundred adults in the U.S. by the online language platform Preply finds that we’re using slang even more than a year ago, 94% say they do this year, up 10% from last year. But most of us (89%), turn to the Internet to find out what a slang term means.
The survey also finds:
- Social media and the Internet is where nine in 10 respondents say they learn slang from, with 31% learning from TikTok and another 20% learning slang from Twitter.
- Other top sources of slang include friends (69%) and TV, movies and music (51%).
- More than half (54%) of those surveyed use slang in most of their conversations and they use it to get their point across quickly (32%), because they hear a lot of slang (27%) and to express their feelings (20%).
- The younger you are, the more likely you are to use slang, according to the poll. Nearly all of Gen Z respondents (98%) say they use slang, as did 97% of millennials, 91% of Gen X and 81% of baby boomers.
- Most respondents feel that slang has its place, with 84% reporting they look down on using it at work. But more than half (56%) say they still use it in front of their colleagues. And nearly three-quarters (73%) say it’s not okay to use slang on a first date.
- “Ghosted” is named the most popular slang term, followed by “salty” - which means “being exceptionally bitter, resentful or angry.”
- Other top slang words include “catfish,” “low-key” and “savage,” as in “not caring about consequences.”
- But more than half (59%) of those surveyed say they’re annoyed by slang and “bae” has been named the most annoying slang term, followed by “on fleek” and “rona.”