The 90s was such a cultural melting pot of hip-hop, grunge, teen angst, heroin, and apathy, so it’s no surprise that it lead to many inside phrases that could only be properly understood by those who grew up in that wonderful generation. From movies to TV to popular music, kids all over the world were picking up descriptive phrases and new bits of language that they could take to the schoolyard and spread to their friends.
While some of this vocabulary is still heavily in use today, I thought it would be a good idea to take a look back at some of the best words from the 90s, complete with definitions and sentences presenting their proper usage in everyday speech.
“I admire people who dare to take the language, English, and understand it and understand the melody.” – Maya Angelou
All right, okay.
“Aiite, that sounds good.”
A judgmental and dismissive phrase in response to a person’s moronic/weird actions.
“You’re saying you like ping pong better than sex? Alrighty then.”
Gorgeous, awesome, or worthy of extreme recognition.
“You see that girl in the ethnic foods aisle? She was all that!”
A filler term used when you run out of intelligent adjectives.
“Then the maniac robot goes on like a killing spree and stuff.”
I’m definitely not going to do that, don’t believe that, or am not into that.
“Me date Melvin on the chess team? As if!”
Back in the day
A time in one’s life looked back upon with great nostalgia and reverence.
“Back in the day, we used to be rolling in the pussy like fucking Rico Suave and shit.”
A sexy or attractive person, a delicious food item, or anything equally wonderful.
“Yo I dunno where the colonel gets his secret spices, but them crispy strips was bangin’!”
A sleeveless undershirt usually worn by trashy, lower class people.
“I got a fresh new pack of Fruit of the Loom beaters for a buck ninety-five, son.”
To smoke marijuana in any of its many forms.
“Tryna blaze before we go see Christmas with the Klumps?”
Light reflected by diamond jewelry, necklaces, and earrings.
“Man, I could buy one of the virgin islands with the amount of bling around my neck.”
A way of saying that something is good or the best.
“Dat Hamburger Helper was fuckin’ the bomb, cuz.”
A word that is uttered after a significant accomplishment, synonymous with “In your face!”
“I just got a ten cent raise for being promoted to fry cook at McDonald’s. I’m moving up in the world. Booyah!”
To exit a location or a situation with haste.
“This party is about as fun as lupus. Let’s bounce.”
In favor of whatever course of action is being considered.
“Slurpee run? You know I’m bout it.”
Break it down
To clearly explain a concept at length.
“You’re not getting it, dick. Let me break it down for ya.”
Unreasonably reacting negatively toward something.
“You’re acting a fool, kid. Your Jheri curl looks fine. Quit buggin’.”
Something or someone that ruins an otherwise enjoyable event.
“The make out party was going smoothly until Larry puked in some chick’s mouth. Total buzz kill.”
Money, wealth, or riches.
“I can’t come out tonight, bro. I gotta be up early to make that cheddar.”
Relaxing and not doing much at all, idle time.
“I’m not really doing anything, just chillin’ and watching David the Gnome.”
To make someone look foolish in the eyes of others.
“I thought you said you were good at Don’t Wake Daddy. That bull just clowned you.”
Originating as a simple greeting, the term is now often associated with surfers or post-victory celebrations by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
“We just banished Shredder and Krang to Dimension X for good. Cowabunga!”
Domicile, dwelling, or private residence.
“I gotta stop by the crib to pick up my VHS copy of Hocus Pocus.”
Stoned and drunk at the same time, fucked up.
“It’s been a long week and I’m trying to black out tonight. Let’s get crunk.”
One who is intolerable and hostile in attitude, behavior, or appearance.
“Don’t tax my gig so hard, cruster!”
A specific place, area, or location.
“I got jumped by these gang bangin’ bitches, but my boy Slim Higgins was waiting in the cut.”
Cut. It. Out.
Joey Gladstone’s famous hand gesture, a humble request for someone to stop doing something.
“No applause needed, folks. C’mon cut. it. out.”
To reiterate and agree with a strongly made point.
“Notorious B.I.G. was always more talented than Tupac. Damn skippy.”
A close friend or acquaintance.
“This is my dawg, Clarence. We go way back.”
To leave abruptly.
“When I saw this fake-ass bitch was wearing hair extension, I had to dip.”
To disrespect, slander, or insult someone to a great degree.
“Why you be dissin’ me, motherfucker?”
A word that describes something that is extremely cool or desirable.
“Those new Capri Sun Big Pouches are truly fucking dope.”
To be keen to or in agreement with a suggestion.
“I’m down for whatever.”
A generic, umbrella term that stoners, surfers, skaters, and teenagers often address each other by.
“Dude, I’m like so fucking high right now.”
Beavis and Butthead’s insult of choice.
“Move it, fart-knocker!”
Often used by hippies, an expression of disbelief or pleasant surprise.
“They’re bringing back Dunkaroos? Far out, man.”
To inquire if someone understands what you’re talking about.
“I just like girls with huge asses, feel me?”
To crave something desperately, an overwhelming need.
“I haven’t had Fruity Pebbles in like two months. I’m fiendin’.”
A word used to describe someone very attractive.
“Is it just me or is Smurfette one fine ass honey?”
Showing off an object of great value in order to brag.
“Unlike you broke bitches, I’m straight flossin’ in my new set of wheels.”
The ability of a rapper to rhyme rhythmically over well-produced backbeats.
“Dat dude Vanilla Ice has one sick ass flow.”
Fashionable and in style.
“This new pair of Jncos I just bought from the mall is too fly for words.”
New, clean, of great quality.
“I just got back from the barber shop. Check out my fresh new fade.”
To act fake, put up a facade, or try to impress in a deceptive manner.
“That fool be frontin’. His mama bought him them Fubus.”
“That silly bastard left all his pogs in the cafeteria, so I ganked that shit.”
“Most excellent grindage, my friend.”
Hasta la vista, baby
Spanish expression that literally means “See you later.” This expression gained popularity after Arnold Schwarzenegger used it in the film Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
“Checkmate. Hasta la vista, baby.”
Emphatic word used in place of “really” or “very.”
“These chicken and waffles are hella good.”
To have sex with.
“Fuck relationships. I’m just in it to hit it and quit it.”
A sexy female.
“We gotta go to this party tonight. I’m tryna have a honey on each arm.”
Homemade alcohol during the prohibition era, marijuana, or a common whore.
“You better double-wrap your shit with that one. She ain’t nothin’ but a hooch.”
“Don’t litter here, asshole. This is my hood.”
A female who sleeps with every man in a given geographic reason and gets passed around, usually lacking standards and/or self respect.
“Don’t brag about sleeping with Donna, kid. She’s like the town bicycle. A true hood rat.”
A long-time, close friend.
“Ray-Ray will have that package for us, cuz. Don’t you worry. He’s my homie.”
Expensive diamond jewelry.
“I love to see the ice when it twinkle and glisten.”
Awesome, possessing great skill, or hanging out.
“We had nothing to do on friday night so we just illed out at the arcade and stomped some young bucks in Mortal Kombat.”
A word used to describe anything and everything.
“You hear the new Lou Bega single? That jawn was hot!”
A filler noun used to describe male genitalia, heroin, or append a useless addition to the end of a sentence.
“Ho was all up on my junk like a Fruit Roll-Up.”
Keepin’ it real
Being true to oneself and representing yourself in an authentic manner.
“Calm down. Just don’t stop keepin’ it real with this girl. You got this.”
Stupid, unoriginal, lifeless, and annoying.
“Johnny got one of those lame tribal tattoos on his bicep. What a toolbag.”
A word of emphasis used in place of “hella,” “very,” or “really.”
“The last boss in Super Mario World was mad easy. You just suck.”
A way of admitting and acknowledging that you made a mistake without truly apologizing.
“I didn’t mean to fuck your girlfriend. It was an accident. My bad.”
A snitch, a tattle tale.
“How that fat fuck know I stole his last Tastykake? I smell a narc.”
A blunt and insulting reply to a statement that is obvious.
“No duh your mom wasn’t happy that you took ecstasy before the track meet.”
Added to the end of a sentence to sarcastically lead someone into an insult.
“Wow, you look like you’ve lost weight… NOT!”
Off the hook
Exceeding the minimum standard of satisfaction.
“The season finale of Family Matters was off the hook!”
Original gangster. Someone who was there from the beginning. Basically, a hip-hop hipster.
“I met a boy wearing Vans, 501s, and a dope Beastie T, nipple rings, and new tattoos that claimed that he was O.G.T., back from ’92, from the first EP.”
A playful expression of surprise, especially when referring to a misfortune or embarrassment of another.
“Oh snap! He just dissed your mama!”
Anything from an earlier era that is looked upon with great respect.
“A sealed copy of Chrono Trigger with all the packaging in tact? That shit is old school.”
On the real
Seriously, not kidding.
“That hot pocket was tasty as fuck, on the real.”
To express that you are leaving someplace in a hurry.
“I forgot to turn the oven off at the crib. I’m outtie.”
A goodbye phrase, usually accompanied by a “peace sign” hand gesture.
“I gotta go wax my taint, fellas. He’s getting a little hairy. Peace out.”
To look at or listen to.
“Peep this new porno I just bought. I’ve never seen tits that big on an asian.”
Pretty hot and tempting, usually referring to a beautiful female body.
“Shandra has got some phat thighs to go with that apple ass.”
“Before we roll on them boys around the way, make sure you strap up and grab your piece.”
A fake, broke woman who tries to woo men into wining, dining, and buying things for her.
“You don’t want to go to that club, bro, it’s full of stank ass pigeons.”
A man who cheats on females he is in a relationship with and does his best to keep it a secret.
“Don’t hate the playa. Hate the game.”
“I give Dre his props, but that’s where it stops.”
To fake someone out by leading them on and then immediately declining at the end.
“Did I really fuck 400 sluts in one night? Of course I did. Psyche!”
Raise the roof
A rhythmic motion where a person pushes both hands up in the air to signal that they’re having a great time, usually to the tune of music.
“Raise the roof, y’all! We’re just getting started.”
Exemplifying your group or position.
“I’m representin’ everybody, all the real niggas in America.”
A term of encouragement and a bull-shaped hand gesture that is often found at heavy metal concerts.
“You got to level 99 of Tetris in one day? Rock on!”
Upset or angry.
“Mike is salty because we forgot to pick him up a pack of Tropical Punch Bubblicious.”
Made famous by the movie Wayne’s World, a word you use when you see an extremely attractive woman.
“Kelly Bundy was wearing some sexy ass cut-off jeans in last night’s episode… schwing!”
To get laid, or a phrase uttered upon successful completion of a goal.
“I’m shaving my balls tonight, regardless. You never know when you’re gonna get the opportunity to score.”
A guy that thinks he’s fly, also known as a buster. Always talking about what he want and just sits on his broke ass.
“No, I don’t want no scrubs. A scrub is a guy that can’t get no love from me.”
Dark, untrustworthy, suspicious, low-profile.
“That shady guy just eye-fucked Brenda as he walked by the table.”
“Blowjobs are the shit!”
Show me the money
Asking someone to take action instead of just talking about it.
“You really think you’re better than me at Mario Kart? Show me the money!”
Interesting, exciting, pleasing, new.
“Dune buggies are fucking sick, brah.”
An acceptable greeting for a person whose name you do not know or recall.
“What’s good, son?”
Verbal, physical, and/or emotional aggression.
“Never start static, I gets that off my chest. Take a small example, a tip from me. Take all of your money and give it all to charity-di-di-di.”
To approach a hostile enemy with aggression and physical violence.
“If this boy runs his mouth again, I’ma get to steppin’.”
Someone who doesn’t drink, smoke, use drugs, or engage in premarital sex.
“Yeah Brittany is hot, but she’s one of those straight edge Catholic girls.”
Short for “What’s up?”
“Sup, gangsta? Where da weed at?”
A term used to describe something that is deemed awesome.
“Those rollerblades are mad sweet, dawg.”
Take a chill pill
A request for someone to calm down and relax, stop stressing.
“Gonorrhea is at least curable, dude. Take a chill pill.”
Talk to the hand
A phrase used to ignore and disregard someone’s unwanted, derogatory, or obnoxious comment.
“Talk to the hand cuz the face don’t give a damn.”
A gangster in the truest sense of the word.
Stylish, cool, or hip.
“Those new threads is tight, yo.”
Women who are teases, sluts, or one of the aforementioned terms trying to act like they’re the other.
“Trick, please. I see through your lies, you wicked, wicked devil.”
“You triflin’, good for nothing type of brother.”
Overreacting or getting bent out of shape over something insignificant.
“My mom’s always trippin’ about pairing my socks on laundry day.”
An acknowledgement of agreement to a statement made by another.
“That bitch is crazy.” “True dat, true dat.”
An overwhelmingly emotional intuition about a place, person, or situation.
“This place gives me them creepy Full House vibes.”
A fake or wannabe gangster.
“You ain’t never popped nothing. You’s a wanksta.”
Appalling or distasteful in nature, crazy, ridiculous, bad.
“This opening band is fucking whack. Bring out L.F.O.”
“Whatever, dude, you think you’re all that.”
What’s the dillio?
“What’s the deal?” with some extra syllables. Synonymous with asking “What’s up?”
“Yo what the dillio, professor? That pop quiz was straight bullshit.”
New England slang that adds emphasis like “very” or “really.”
“My boy is wicked smaht.”
A girl you care for deeply, more than just your girlfriend.
“Don’t you even look at her, punk, she’s my wifey.”
To freak out, go crazy, and lose your mind.
“I’m gonna wig out if I can’t find my favorite Care Bear doll.”
Well said, spoken in agreement, acknowledgement of a statement.
“You going to the bar tonight? Oh, word.”
Wheezing the juice
Sticking your head under a soda fountain nozzle or Slurpee machine and drinking straight from the tap.
“Wheezing the jui-uice!” “No wheezing the juice!”
Whoop, there it is
A term used to recognize and applaud a female’s ample posterior.
“Damn girl, shake that thang. Whoop, there it is!”
Word is bond
Expressing that what you’re saying is true and trustworthy.
“I swear I don’t have an STD. Word is bond.”
Yadda yadda yadda
Etcetera, used to eliminate major details of a story so as to clean up and shorten it.
“We got on the train together, yadda yadda yadda, I can’t find my pants.”
Another way of calling someone’s attention or saying hello.
A word spoken as you’re stealing an object right from under someone’s nose.
“Hey, what’s over there? Yoink!”
You go, girl
An encouraging phrase uttered to a female or said sarcastically to a male.
“A 98% in Astronomy? You go, girl!”
A kid you take under your wing, raise, and protect, especially in the drug world.
“This youngin’ peddles my wares day in and day out and all these pigs can do is send him down to baby booking.”
A response to any statement or question used to insult.
“Who the hell clogged the downstairs toilet?” “Your mom haha.”
What someone would ask a friend if they seemed out of sorts.
“Tray, you don’t look so good. You straight?”
After such a lengthy post, I wanted to sincerely thank all of my readers for their viewership, e-mails, instragram shares and likes, and tweets. It’s you who make this blog possible and worth doing. Thank you so much.