10 Cool Words Millennials Use, “YAAAAAS”

Millennials are different. Their thinking sets them apart from the rest. But, more fascinatingly, it’s the way young people speak that places them in their own fast lane, where they cruise with total slayage while others hate from the slow lane. All it takes is a quick stroll through the streets of Twitter and you’ll come across a word or two, or three, that will make you feel lame for not understanding them.

But, don’t be salty…we’ve got your back with ten of the most popular millennial words you need to familiarize yourself with if you want to speak “cool.”




Gone are the days when “salty” only referred to something containing salt. Now, humans can be salty, too. The term means to be bitter, upset or angry about something that happened.

How to use it

Get over yourself. You’re salty because you didn’t get that promotion you were aggressively campaigning about.


With the advent of social media, ‘woke’ people get all the shine on platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Even at social gatherings, woke folks steal the show with their endless river of knowledge continuously overflowing with enlightening gems. Woke means to be socially and politically conscious. The term gained popularity during the #BlackLivesMatter movement. #StayWoke was a recurring trending hashtag during the movement.

How to use it

Paballo is too woke. Did you hear her break down how the issue of colourism has its roots in slavery?


Short for family, but the word is largely used in place of terms like “dude” and “bro.” Fam is normally used when addressing someone who is close to you, like your homie.

How to use it

Yo fam, can you hook me up with your phone charger?


If you secretly obsess over one of your Twitter followers and the only thing stopping you from sliding into their DMs is fear, then you ‘low-key’ like them. Low-key refers to something that one does secretly or halfheartedly and doesn’t want others to know about. The phrase can also mean hushed and calm – like a low-key party.

How to use it

He’s a great guy, loved by many people around here, but I low-key don’t trust him.


Trust the millennials to take a bland, unassuming word like “yes” and spice it up to make it one of the most interesting words of our time, used to express excitement. Next time you want to show someone how excited you are or that you agree with a great idea, “YAAAS!” is all you need to say.

How to use it

*At a workshop and your fave speaker drops some serious knowledge*

You, in the audience: YAAAS! Preach, sis, preach!


Because saying “greatest of all time” can be daunting, the acronym GOAT is the solution.

How to use it

You’ve never listened to Salif Keita? He’s, hands down, the GOAT!

7Throw shade

Have you ever realised how beefing celebrities always start feuds on Twitter, hurling insults and threats at each other? That’s shade being thrown at its finest. The phrase essentially means to talk trash about or to diss someone.

How to use it

Never get on her wrong side…she’s the queen of throwing shade.


Ever been to a party that was so exciting that you drank so much you reached just the right levels of intoxication? And then you unlocked new heights of fun? This means the party was so ‘lit!’ The term ‘lit’ is usually used to describe fun events like parties or being drunk. Its meaning has spilled over to include anything that is entertaining.

How to use it

Wizkid’s concert last night was so lit, you missed out.


Just like receipts, ‘receipts’ serve as proof. Not proof of purchase, but evidence for drama or to expose double standard behaviour. Receipts normally come in the form of pictures, videos, screenshots, and voice notes. If your partner is cheating and you’ve got pics and screenshots to finally bust him/her, behold – you’re sitting on some serious receipts!

How to use it

Guys, everything I told you about this guy is true. Wait, lemme pull up some receipts to show that he’s not who he says he is.


L, written in caps, stands for loss. Nobody wants to catch an L in life. That’s why we rise every day to make the most of our situations so we can take W (win) home.

How to use it

Your team lost again. They’ve been taking L after L this year.

Moza Moyo is based in Johannesburg and is passionate about telling news stories that change the African narrative. His writing touches on an array of issues and topics, including human interest, business, race, and culture.