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Survey Names Top Ten Slang Terms of 2021

Joanne K. Watson/Merriam-Webster, Getty Images
Joanne K. Watson/Merriam-Webster, Getty Images

A survey by the online language website “Preply” finds “ghosted” is the most popular slang term in America in late 2021.

You can read the full Preply slang report here.

Ghosted means to cut off all communication without explanation. The rest of the top ten slang terms according to the report, in order, were as follows:

2-Salty [bitter or angry]

3-On point [accurate]

4-Woke [alert to social injustice or prejudice

5-GOAT [Greatest Of All Time. Often used in a sports context]

6-Extra [over the top or excessive]

7-Low Key [understated or secret. On the “down-low”]

8-Catfish [assuming a false identity online]

9-Savage [not caring about consequences]

10-Thirsty [ needing approval or attention

The same survey found that 50 percent of Americans had used slang without knowing exactly what it means. 83 percent of the people surveyed had used the internet to find out what a slang term means, and another 68 percent had asked a younger person to define slang.

Interestingly, while referring to COVID-19 as “rona” might seem widespread, only 42 percent of people surveyed could define the word ‘rona” as referring to COVID-19. It seems that referring to the COVID-19 vaccination as the “jab” is not as commonly understood as many might think either. Only 35 percent of people in the survey could correctly define that slang term.

Other survey findings included the following:

Men were slightly more open to using slang on a first date than women (71% of men say it’s acceptable vs. 66% of women). 

Respondents clearly felt slang is a mode of communication most suited to informal, social, and familiar settings. At the office, however, it’s a different story. Over half (54%) said it’s inappropriate to use slang in a professional environment, and they were especially hesitant to use it in front of a supervisor. While 44% said they wouldn’t use it around colleagues, 58% said they wouldn’t use it in front of their boss.

The survey was originally released in early November. 2000 Americans provided responses, according to the website.


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