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Modern terms, slang and acronyms explained: From DINK to GOAT and 'mid'

How many of these 20 terms are you familiar with? Have your say by using our slider tool to vote.

Gen Z has a myriad of modern terms that they use across social media. (Getty Images)
Gen Z has a myriad of modern terms that they use across social media. (Getty Images)

Unless you are chronically online and/or a Gen Z, then there are probably a few modern terms and acronyms you only pretend to understand.

Take GOAT, for example. After seeing it used umpteen times on TikTok I finally decided to see what it meant, and found out that it was an acronym for “greatest of all time”, often used when referring to sports stars like Roger Federer or Lionel Messi.

While, unlike me, you probably figured out what GOAT meant long ago, what about DINK, or “simping” or “mid”?

Fear not: We've laid out exactly what each of these modern terms mean – along with a host of commonly used others. Because we stan being woke. (I’m sorry.)

Roger Federer in action against Hubert Hurkacz in the quarter final match on centre court on day nine of Wimbledon at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon. Picture date: Wednesday July 7, 2021. (Photo by Adam Davy/PA Images via Getty Images)
Roger Federer is known as a GOAT (greatest of all time). (Getty Images)

Gen Z and modern terms explained

  1. Cheugy: To be ‘cheugy’ is to no longer be thought of as cool or fashionable, like side parts and skinny jeans.

  2. Deepfake: A ‘deepfake’ is an image, video, or sound recording of someone that appears real when it’s not.

  3. DINK: DINK is an acronym for double/dual income no kids, used for couples who both have jobs but no children.

  4. GOAT: An acronym, GOAT stands for greatest of all time and is often used when referencing musicians or sports stars.

  5. Hits different: A term for when something ‘hits’ you in a positive way.

  6. Icks: An ‘ick’ is something done by someone you’re dating that you find off putting, usually in the early stages of a relationship.

  7. It’s giving: ‘It’s giving’ on its own means it’s great, but if it’s followed by another word such as ‘it’s giving bad vibes’ that means it’s not so great.

  8. Main character energy: When someone does something that makes it seem like they are the main character in a film.

  9. Mid: ‘Mid’ is a slang word for something that was of poor quality.

  10. OG: ‘OG’ is a slang term meaning original, often in reference to a celebrity who did something first. I.e. Naomi Campbell is the OG supermodel.

  11. Simp or simping: ‘Simping’ is often used in terms of a relationship and means to allow the other person to always get what they want.

  12. Slaps: To say that something ‘slaps’ means that it is really good.

  13. Stan: To be a ‘stan’ is to be an almost obsessive fan of a celebrity. I.e. she is a Harry Styles stan.

  14. Slay: To do something well or do a good job.

  15. Sus: Another way of saying ‘suspicious’.

  16. TERF: ‘TERF’ is an acronym for trans-exclusionary radical feminist, or a feminist who excludes trans people when supporting women’s rights. The term can be considered offensive.

  17. Vibes: Vibes or ‘vibing’ is the feeling that something or someone is giving off.

  18. Victim blaming: This is when the victim of a crime is held entirely or partially at fault.

  19. W or L: When someone writes just ‘W’ this means win (a good thing), while ‘L’ means loss (a bad thing).

  20. Woke: A slang term, ‘woke’ means being aware of societal issues, particularly around racism and inequality.

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 11: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Harry Styles performs on stage during The BRIT Awards 2023  at The O2 Arena on February 11, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
Harry Styles has many stans. (Getty Images)

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