What Does “Slay” Mean on TikTok? Decoding Internet Slang

TikTok, the popular video-sharing platform, has created a breeding ground for new words and phrases. One of the top favorite terms used on the app is “slay.” With a user base of one billion, expected to reach 1.8 billion by the end of 2022, TikTok introduces its vast audience to a variety of trendy terms like “Extra,” “Lit,” “Flex,” “POV,” and “FYP,” among others. In this article, we will delve into the meaning and usage of the term “slay.”

The Evolution of “Slay”

Originally, the term “slay” had a literal and rather violent connotation – to kill someone violently. However, the power of social media has transformed its meaning into something positive. The flattering context of the word emerged among minority communities, particularly black and brown communities, between the 1970s and 1980s. Inclusively, the queer community also embraced the term, which gained popularity after its appearance in the 1991 documentary “Paris Is Burning.” The film focused on drag queens living in New York, where “slay” was frequently interwoven into their daily lives.

The term reached new heights in 2016 when Beyonce incorporated it into her single “Formation.” Since then, “slay” has become a ubiquitous word heard and seen across social media platforms.

The Versatility of “Slay”

“Slay” does not have a single, fixed meaning and can be employed in various contexts. Here are some of the ways netizens can utilize the term:

  1. Achieving something impressive: Whether it’s mastering the art of a perfect winged eyeliner, effortlessly parallel parking, or snagging a dream job, anyone who achieves something impressive is said to “slay.”

  2. Being in awe of someone as a whole: Iconic figures such as Beyonce, Rihanna, or Keanu Reeves (according to their fans) are nothing short of amazing, and they “slay” as individuals.

  3. Defeating or proving someone wrong: When one person triumphs over another or disproves them, they are said to have “slayed” their opponent.

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The term can be used across all three contexts and often serves as a hashtag to expand the reach of content.

Other Popular TikTok Terms

As TikTok’s user base continues to grow, countless terms exclusive to the platform have emerged. Here are some widely used terms on the app:

  1. FYP: “FYP” stands for “For You Page,” which is a curated section in the app tailored to each user. It is the go-to place to discover new creators and captivating videos.

  2. Shadowban: Creators’ worst nightmare, a “shadowban” occurs when the app’s algorithm decides to suppress an account, preventing their content from reaching a broader audience.

  3. POV: “POV” stands for “Point Of View,” a content type where users portray their reactions to various situations.

  4. IB: “IB” is short for “Inspired By.” Creators use this acronym to credit the original creators of the idea featured in their videos.

  5. ALR: “ALR” abbreviates “alright.” While it can be used in conversation, creators often employ it as a hashtag to garner more views on their videos.

Remember, these terms are just the tip of the iceberg. TikTok constantly generates new slang as its community evolves and expands.

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Now, armed with the knowledge of what “slay” means on TikTok, you can confidently navigate the app and engage with the latest trends and conversations. So go ahead, embrace the language of this vibrant social media platform and have a great time exploring the world of TikTok!

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