Vocabulary Spotlight | Slang terms that have become common

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In this episode of The A to Z English Podcast, Xochitl and Jack talk about slang terms that have become commonly used by many English speakers.

Bling: This term refers to flashy, ostentatious jewelry or other luxurious accessories. Originating from the sound of something sparkling, “bling” became popular in the late 1990s and early 2000s, particularly through the music of artists like Lil Wayne and the Cash Money Millionaires.

Crib: Originally slang for a house or apartment, “crib” has been widely adopted in mainstream speech to refer to one’s home. The term gained broader recognition through its use in hip hop lyrics and shows like “MTV Cribs.”

Dope: While it can refer to drugs, in hip hop slang, “dope” means something excellent or outstanding. This positive connotation has crossed over into mainstream usage to describe anything that’s impressive or cool.

Lit: Initially used to describe something that is exciting or excellent, “lit” has become a popular term across various age groups to denote that a party or event is lively and enjoyable. It has evolved to encompass anything exciting or fun.

Salty: In hip hop, being “salty” means feeling upset, bitter, or angry, often over something trivial. This term has been widely adopted to describe someone’s attitude when they’re annoyed or disappointed.

Throw Shade: This phrase means to subtly or indirectly disrespect or criticize someone. Originating from drag culture and popularized by hip hop and R&B communities, “throw shade” is now a common way to describe the act of making a sly, critical remark.

OG: Short for “Original Gangster,” this term initially referred to someone who has been around for a long time and has a significant amount of respect and experience in a particular field or community. In mainstream usage, it now often refers to someone who is authentic or an originator in any context.

Legit: Short for “legitimate,” this term is used to describe something that is real, authentic, or genuine. It is often used to express approval or to confirm the credibility of something or someone.

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