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15 Things Millennials Say That No One Else Understands

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Every generation has its own vernacular, colloquialisms, terminology — slang, if you will (you do). And members of generation whY are just as prolific in their hip word creations as those of generations past. Examples:

1. Bro

Et tu, Brote? Millennials have this sly habit of taking the word “bro” (which is supposed to be short for “brother,” but as a Millennial you use it to describe guys whose minds are filled with nothing but the quest for sex and, well, that’s about it), and placing it into any word possible. The brocabulary includes events (bro mitzvah, Broman Holiday), people (Bro Montana, Seth Brogan, Kimbro Slice), phrases (disbrospectful, bro manchu, brodown, pro brono), and other aspects of bromunication that have nothing to do with blood relations or those Warner guys.

2. Adulting

Possibly the most difficult Millennial word to accomplish, “adulting” refers to acting as an adult would, with full grown up responsibilities, grown up jobs, grown up bills, and even food especially for grown ups (yuck!). It’s a bittersweet term. Wonderful because it comes with grown up drinks that get you through those days when you can’t even, but awful because it means you’ve lost that youthful serendipity.

3. Can’t Even

“I just can’t even!” The mantra for Millennials across the nation (mostly female, but guys, you get your chances, too) is used when someone cannot comprehend, act on, or come to any conclusion whatsoever regarding situations from adulting to when that strange bro asks if you want to “Netflix and chill.”

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4. Netflix and Chill

Usually referring to an exchange of goods and services between two Millennials, whereby Millennial one invites bae (Millennial two) over for streamed sitcoms and junk food as an excuse for both to indulge in something a bit more enjoyable. It’s modern quid pro bro. Sometimes the phrase is mistaken by a person trying to binge-watch the newest season of New Girl while hanging out with a friend, both stuffing their faces with Doritos. But not by the cool youths.

5. Merica

Particularly around the 4th of Bro, the term “Merica” (mur-i-kuh) is used to describe and encourage anything remotely related to all of the U.S.A.’s worst stereotypes, or just anything a bronified redneck would enjoy (e.g. guns, PBR, bald eagles, freedom, etc.). Yes, those-of-an-older-generation, America used to stand for (paradoxically) opportunity and sacrifice, but that was before Millennials had Joey Chestnut shoot it down with a turret strapped to a flock of red, white, and blue bald eagles.

6. The struggle is real

Typically used in conjunction with “adulting,” it refers to a person’s inability to excel at daily tasks, usually because that person is being clumsy or forgetful. It’s also used as a reference to being poor or overworked. Eating through your last packet of Ramen, for example, is quintessential de strugel, which you (sadly) know all too well.

Surprisingly, it’s often used by Millennials who are actually doing pretty okay at life.

7. White girl

See also “pumpkin spice latte,” “fall,” “overpriced coffee,” “flannel,” and “upper-middle class.” This phrase is in reference to the turning of seasons, particularly around September 22 (Brotober 3rd, by the Broman calendar), whereupon upper-middle class entitlement-addicted females flock to the nearest Starbucks (Sbucks) in search of an artificially flavored seasonal beverage while shrieking something about hoodies and boots.

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As anything but one of these “white girls” (which you actually are), you mock the entire situation as you repress your desires to partake in their delicious, carefree ways.

8. Bae

Created by Apple’s mistake of auto-correcting “Bro” to “Bae,” the word has come to be a term of endearment signifying someone’s significant other. Often used to replace “babe” and “baby,” it is in fact not meant as a synonym for a small child, which has caused some recent complications on find-a-babysitter-esque websites.

9. Sorry not sorry

You’re sorry that you’re not sorry. But you’re not sorry. You’re not sorry at all. About anything. This phrase is meant to deceive and mock and boldly proclaim that you are proud of your ill deeds!

You are a strong independent black woman that don’t need no man!

10. Basic

Unlike you, you complex son-of-a-bro, this term refers to persons, particularly of the female variety, who are utterly predictable in their likes, style, and personality. Iconized by Gucci, Louis, Fendi, and Prada, “basic” is meant to insult a person’s unoriginality (or basicness), which is why when it comes to mainstream appeal, you don’t even botha.

11. Rachet

This beautiful use of the handyman tool refers primarily to women who think they’re the bro’s knees, but are in fact the exact opposite. Whether because they’re classless, hideous, or still roughed up from a late night out, a rachet girl’s appearance is anything other than what could be considered put-together.

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12. Fetch

Fetch is not going to happen! It has happened. Brolloquial for anything cool or, dare you say it (you do), bitch’n. “Fetch” was brought into the mainstream by the instant classic Mean Girls and its cult following, who just have a lot of feelings. Rumor has it that if you turn your bathroom light off and say “fetch” three times, Regina George will appear and call you a homeschooled jungle freak. Pretty fetch, right?

13. Break the Internet

Not exclusive to the Kardashian family, “break the internet” refers to creating a massive explosion of social media buzz and chatter around a specific re-meme-rable event. Breaking the internet has become so pervasive that even Time has a list of things that broke the internet (which kind of makes you feel bad for whomever has to repair this thing every time).

Apparently Kim’s butt broke it, and apparently that confused you, and apparently Taylor Swift is your spirit animal, and apparently still nobody knows what ALS stands for, and apparently we Millennials have an incredibly short attention span.

14. Turn Up

Not to be confused with a garden vegetable, this cultural phenomenon is all about getting as hyped as possible, and staying hyped until the Red Bull wears off. Brolarized by the trap music scene, “Turn up!” has been the calling card of Millennials from sea to shining club, and is responsible for more than a few of your less-than-fantastic decisions.

15. Humble Brag

This paradoxical line takes shape through such lines as, “I can’t believe I got an A on my paper, I didn’t even start till the night before.” And “That awkward moment when you’re walking down the street and someone from The Tonight Show decides to interview you.” Outrageously annoying, humble brags are always cause for dispute between you and your humble braggin bro-worker.

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But you still accept them for who they are because you’re clearly the better bro.

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