Thursday, 7 February 2013

Decoding "slanguage": youth trends

A breakdown of five popular youth terms trending


Jay-Z and Kanye West popularised the term "cray" in the track Ni**as in Paris, a single from the Watch the Throne album. Most youth currently use the term as a shortened form of the word crazy, but its reference is actually in the word Kray, referring to twin brothers Reginald and Ronald Kray, the notoriously violent London gangsters in the 1950s and 60s. Ronald Kray was a diagnosed schizophrenic and the pair evaded police capture on numerous occasions, which inspired the line "Ball so hard, muthafuckas wanna find me, that shit Kray. That shit Kray. That shit Kray".

Other Cray related terms:

Cray Cray - really crazy
Crunk - crazy and drunk
Tapped - crazy
Rachet - nasty and crazy
Nutz - nuts, insane


Trill is a combination of the words true and real, as well as "too real". It is a mark of respect and is used to describe something or someone who stays true to themselves and "keeps it real". Miami rapper Rick Ross popularised the term in 2008 with the album Trilla, a play on the Michael Jackson album title, Thriller.

Other True & Real related terms:

Trilllest - to be realist and the most true
Trilla - a combination of true, real and ill, as in cool. Popularised by rapper Rick Ross
Tru - true
Tru Dat - that is true, I agree
4RL - for real
FRL - for real
Cereal - serious






Ingrained in everyday youth language, "swag" is used as a synonym for swagger, meaning a style or presence that exudes confidence. The word has been appropriated by hip hop and can be traced through its usage in hip-hop lyrics from rapper Jay-Z's song All I Need on the 2001 album The Blueprint. Since that time, it has been frequently used in various hip-hop tracks as part of an ego-inflated style of rapping, self-bragging and boasting.
Other Swag related terms:

Swagga - style and personality
Swagger - a person's style
Steeze, Steez or Steezy - style with ease






AND MY FAV*********


YOLO means "You Only Live Once". The acronym found popularity when featured in the lyrics of the track The Motto by Drake in 2011 and has been going strong ever since. The term is often used as a hashtag on Twitter, appearing as #yolo, to bring attention to exciting events or as an excuse for irresponsible behaviour. It is both loved and hated. In November 2012, the Oxford Dictionaries USA included the slang term YOLO in its shortlist for the 2012 English Word of the Year.

Other Y.O.L.O. related terms:

We are young
Forever young





Pinned Image
O                             L          O        Y


More key terms:

  • Bounce - as in "let's bounce", meaning to leave
  • Dope, sick or ill - cool or awesome
  • Crispy - less common, but also meaning awesome, good looking, trendy
  • Swerve - from the track Mercy By Kanye West, often used to imply dodging someone. Also used in place of swag
  • Hater or h8er - someone who hates everything
  • Whatevs - whatever, uninterested
  • Foshizzle - for sure
  • Dis - disrespect, or put someone down
  • Rens - short for parents
So next time you use a new word please make damn sure you know what it means.
Hopefully I have educated a few.
Love Peace and YOLO


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