25 Silly Pop Culture Words That Push the Limits

Posted by , Updated on January 16, 2024

It’s official: The Oxford English Dictionary and Merriam Webster have given credence to silly pop culture words which are now etched for all eternity into the English language. We can’t really complain though; that’s how English works. There’s a longstanding joke that goes something like this: “English follows other languages into dark alleys, beats them up, then rummages in their pockets for random bits of grammar and syntax” and it’s not wrong. Perhaps these 25 Silly Pop Culture Words That Shouldn’t Belong In The Dictionary have already made it into your daily vocabulary (we kind of hope not).



"Adorbs" used to be an annoying teenager's way of shortening the word "Adorable". Now it has its own entry into the dictionary.

totesadorbsbunnySource: http://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/ Image Source: https://pixabay.com/en/rabbit-palm-hand-snatch-redheaded-373691/

"Cheerer-upper" sounds like something Buddy the Elf would say, but it's also officially a word in the English Language! A noun meaning someone who cheers you up. It's cute, it's sweet, it sounds like something a child who's just starting to grasp grammar would say.

smilies-bank-sit-restSource:http://www.dictionary.com/browse/cheerer-upper Image Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/yellow-plush-toy-160739/

YOLO (short for You Only Live Once) has been added to the official Oxford English Dictionary. Because apparently they no longer want to be taken more seriously than a teenager who's about to make a horrible life choice.

yoloSource: http://www.independent.co.uk/ Image Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:YOLO_You_only_live_once.jpg

Clickbait - a noun meaning a misleading headline for an article or story online, causing you to click on it - is another one we can now keep forever.

clickingSource:http://www.independent.co.uk/ Image Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/black-and-white-cup-hand-mug-1883/

A humblebrag is when someone tries to be modest, but is really just drawing attention to how awesome they are. This is very often seen among moms on social media (no judgement, the author is one) and celebrity tweets, such as Chrissy Teigen's "What does one even wear to a meeting at the Style Network?!". Let's all just not, okay?

HumblebragSource: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com Image Source: Shutterstock (word added)

A neckbeard is literally the part of a man's beard that grows on his neck. It's also, now, an insult for the socially inept, nerdy, and physically unappealing. Apparently someone woke up one morning and thought "You know what we need? More insults for men and nerds."

neckbeardSource: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com Image Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/johnath/5248267304

A Selfie is a picture taken of oneself, usually with a smartphone, usually making stupid faces or hand gestures, and shared via social media. We all knew that but..we kind of all wish we didn't? Now we can never stop knowing it.

selfieeeSource: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com Image Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/fashion-person-woman-apple-5164/

FOMO means "Fear Of Missing Out", when someone is at home or disconnected from social media. Apparently this has become such a phenomena that we needed a horrible acronym for it that's made it's way into everyday conversation, otherwise we might be missing out on knowing people are worried about missing out.

fomoSource: http://time.com/4299634/merriam-webster-fomo-mx-dox-update/ Image Source: https://pixabay.com/en/home-life-sofa-couch-relax-1730489/

Woke is an adjective, the past tense of "Wake". In 2016 it's used to signal awareness of some social injustice, such as the silencing or limiting of free speech that goes against culture. And since "Woke" is past tense, the phrase "Stay Woke" still makes many of us cringe.

wokeSource: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/ Image Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Vienna_2010-11-20_'Kinderrechte'_Smart_Mob_044.jpg (Edited with words "WOKE")

The word "Literally" has been around for awhile, and it means "In a literal manner or sense; exactly". However, it's been so overused for exaggerated emphasis on something that isn't literally true, that it now also means what it used to mean, and the exact opposite of that. Confused yet? Yeah, we are too. Also a little angry.

literallySource: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com Image Source: https://imgflip.com/i/2cgf

OK, so you might want to avoid adding the words on this list to your vocabulary. However, the words on our 25 unique English words list is a different story entirely. You definitely want to add those to your vocabulary..trust us. Enough banter. On with more silly pop culture words.


Sheeple is another fun new compound word, combining sheep and people, used to indicate people who don't think or hold opinions outside of the majority, but rather choose to stay with the flock, so to speak.

black-and-white-animals-sheep-flockSource:http://www.dictionary.com/ Image Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/black-and-white-animals-sheep-flock-1469/

Are you rolling your eyes yet? Don’t worry, there’s more.


Gaydar is a noun that means one's ability to tell if someone is a homosexual based on subtle clues. It's a mashup of gay and radar.

radar-dishSource: http://www.cracked.com/ Image Source: https://pixabay.com/en/photos/radar/

Yaaas is slang for "YES!", and it's just awful. It's so horrible, no one who says it can ever be taken seriously. It's in the dictionary as of November 2015.

yaaasSource: http://blog.dictionary.com/ Image Source: Shutterstock (word added)

A Phablet is a smartphone so large that it's a small tablet. Or a tablet so small you can make phone calls on it. Either way, saying the word is awful.

PhabletSource: http://www.dictionary.com/ Image Source: Shutterstock (word added)

A glamorous older lady used to just be that - glamorous. Now she's called a Glam-ma, a word more reminiscent of aging drag queens than properly coiffed senior citizens.

girlSource: http://www.oed.com/ Image Source: https://pixabay.com/p-1471241/?no_redirect

Wacky Tobacky is old school slang for marijuana. It's also now in the Merriam Webster Dictionary.

marijuanaSource: http://unabridged.merriam-webster.com/ Image Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Marijuana.jpg (public domain)

Athleisure is a noun meaning a type of clothing meant to be worn for athletic activities or leisure, which is to say, it's the word that makes going to the grocery store in your yoga pants, when you haven not in fact recently been to yoga, socially acceptable.

AthleisureSource: http://time.com/ Image Source: Shutterstock (word added)

Hella is an adjective for meaning "Very". Overuse may also make you seem cool to teenagers and up your street cred (but probably not).

hellaSource: http://time.com Image Source: Shutterstock (words added)

A Brexiteer is someone who is in favor of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union (referred to as Brexit, short for Britain Exit) as was voted on via referendum in mid 2016. It makes them sound like Liberty Pirates.

union-jack-flagSource: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com Image Source: http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=37271&picture=union-jack-flag

Scrumdiddlyumptious is an adjective meaning very tasty or attractive. This one's actually pretty awesome, we just wanted to add a bright spot to this list.

ScrumdiddlyumptiousSource: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com Image Source: Shutterstock (word added)

‘Merica is a shortened and bastardized version of the word "America" (which by the way, is a continent not a country. The country is The United States of America). It is often used both by rednecks and to mock rednecks.

mericaSource: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com Image Source: www.pixabay.com (Words and background added).

Fuhgeddaboudit, the New Jersey/New York accented slang for "Forget about it", meaning "it's not going to happen" is now it's own word. It's literally an accented pronunciation of a phrase strung together.

cars-traffic-street-new-yorkSource: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com Image Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/cars-traffic-street-new-york-1982/

Slactivism (and it's synonym, clicktivism) are new shiny compound words that mean attempting to bring about political change but with minimal effort, or only online. They're fancy words that both mock and give meaning to people complaining about politics.

slactivismSource: http://www.dictionary.com/ Image Source: Shutterstock

Binge-watch is now officially a word in the dictionary. It's origin is anchored in the 1990s' and a derivative of binge-eating and binge-drinking, despite the fact that Netflix didn't start streaming until 2006. We're assuming "Netflix-and-Chill" will be in next year's entries as a type of mating ritual.

tvwatchingSource: http://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/ Image Source: https://pixabay.com/en/woman-watching-tv-tv-fifa-world-cup-391555/

Teenage girls overly smooching up or pouting out their lips to make them seem fuller is a phenomenon brought to us by the "selfie". The term for this is "Duck Face", and it's been decided that this phrase should stay around for future generations to enjoy, as it has it's own entry in the English Oxford Dictionary as of 2014.

ambersduckfaceSource: http://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/ Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duck_face