Oh, the good old days! When cellphones could still flip and responsibility meant remembering to feed your Tamagotchi. With the help of the Oxford English Dictionary and the debatably reliable Urban Dictionary, here are some relics of the early aughts to steep you in nostalgia and help you remember a time before you had to worry about essay deadlines and internship applications.
1. Epic — adjective
While this word comes from Ancient Greek to denote a song or narrative, “epic” was reborn as a slang term by the time the ‘80s rolled around, and it thrived right into the 21st century. If something is epic, it means it’s “particularly impressive or remarkable,” according to the Oxford English Dictionary.
Dude, this Tony Hawk PSP game is epic!
2. Fail — noun
From Old French, “fail” when used as a noun is considered obsolete, but back in the early aughts, it made a comeback to describe an act so poorly executed that it’s embarrassing. One entry in Urban Dictionary describes it as “The Glorious lack of success.”
You tried to hold your crush’s hand, and they ran away? Fail!
Bonus tip: If you compound “fail” with “epic,” you have a way to describe what it’s like when you try to impress your friends with a kickflip and end up falling and scraping your knee instead — EPIC FAIL!
3. N00b — noun
No, not noob. Only n00bs spell it with O’s. And really, isn’t that all a n00b is? Yes, it’s someone who is just so lame and inexperienced that they don’t know cool kids type with numbers sometimes instead of letters.
Wow, you play as Waluigi in “Mario Kart”? You’re such a n00b.
4. Da bomb — definite article plus noun
“Bomb” has had many different slang uses; one still common today would be its American definition meaning to do quite badly, as in “I bombed the test.” On the contrary, add a “da” at the beginning, and suddenly Urban Dictionary says it means “simply outstanding.”
These Fruit Roll-Ups are da bomb!
5. No biggie — determiner plus noun
From feces to celebrities, “biggie” has had a few different meanings, but back in the aughts, the phrase “no biggie” was the hip way to say that something was “no big deal.” Who has the time to say three words when you could say two words with the same number of syllables instead?
You broke my Bedazzler? No biggie — I already bedazzled all my jean jackets anyway.
Just like how “LOL” and “ROFL” originated online, this chat lingo — which looks like a sideways laughing face — made its way out of AOL and started to be said aloud. It was simply the easier way of laughing and would often tell you how eccentric your friends were.
I am just sooo random. Rawr! XD
Should these terms be brought back? Most likely not, but at least their existence serves as a reminder that slang today can never be as bad as it was back in the ‘00s. So don’t let anyone shame you about how often you use “lit” or “shook.”