What’s the tea?

Twitter slang as explained by students


Ruth Feng

Around 6,000 tweets are sent out per second, 350,000 tweets per minute and 500 million tweets per day. From Jimmy Kimmel’s “Mean Tweets” segment to updates being launched at the speed of light during presidential debates, it’s inevitable that slang would emerge from this fast-paced form of social media. Linguists argue that social media is changing the way people speak, birthing more “acronyms, abbreviations and neologisms” that allow for an informal, casual expression of their thoughts.

Social media is fast-paced and confusing, so students tried their best to break it down with context. After all, you are limited to 140 characters.



Junior Maya Tate has had a Twitter account for a year, where she has seen slang emerge such as “wig, tea, memes and appropriated slang.” Tate believes a lot of these words originated from the black community and that it’s become especially appropriated within the white queer community, saying “people need to be aware of where it comes from.” Since Tate doesn’t like to use this slang, she hesitantly defined ‘tea’ as, “spill the tea, basically, give us the details, the gossip.”



Junior Pallavi Srinivas follows the entire cast of Stranger Things, Youtube personalities James Charles and Jeffree Star. Srinivas and her friends often say ‘sister snapped,’ a term she believes was made popular by James Charles. Srinivas defines “snapped” as “shook, finding out something that’s shocking.” When Srinivas hear about something big that happened to someone, her friends will say “sister snapped” unanimously.



Freshman Sahil Goel does not use any social media. However, he has heard internet slang being used in real life. On several occasions, he has heard his sister say “you gotta slay harder than that,” which he explains is something you would say just for fun, without any significant meaning. However, Urban Dictionary defines the more widely accepted definition of this word as “killed it, succeeded in something amazing.”



Sophomore Viha Srinivas checks Instagram around 20 times a day, usually checking up on Youtube star James Charles. Srinivas also watches other Youtube personalities such as the Dolan twins and Emma Chamberlain. Srinivas defines “sister” as, “if I call her sister, [she’s] someone who’s really close to me, a friend.”



Senior Heta Joshi is part of the vibrant and influential K-pop community on Twitter. Her top three groups are BTS, LOONA and NCT. She remembers when American boy group fandoms like the Five Seconds of Summer and One Direction took Twitter by storm in late 2016, when internet slang started gaining momentum. Joshi defines ‘snatched’ as “when your ‘fave’ does something out of the ordinary or something special and you’re like, ‘oh I don’t have any hair on my head anymore.’” Basically, someone’s actions surprised you so much that they have snatched your full attention.