Ever tell a story to your parents or grandparents and use words like "hook up", "sick", or "catfish" and they think you mean something completely different? Well, here's a list of words and their previous definitions so you can never have this language barrier problem again.
1. Hook up
"Hook up" used to mean getting a device, service, or appliance up and running. A common phrase that I'm sure we've all heard is "hook up the cable television." Today, "hooking up" with someone means to kiss someone, have sex with someone, or just meetup with someone. It's a shame we had to over-complicate this phrase, because it's far more confusing to use now.
If you told someone older you went to Victoria Secret to buy thongs, you may get some weird looks. And if you ask for thongs for Christmas, don't be surprised if you get some flip-flops. I know what you may be thinking, "Flip-flops?" Yes, flip-flops; years ago, this modern day term for underwear actually meant beach footwear, better known as a "toe thong".
We've all heard the song "Deck The Halls", so we all know the part that goes "Don we now our gay apparel". This may throw the younger generation for loop, but the word "gay" means happy, or merry, and in the past was not commonly used as an insult. Actually, it had quite the opposite connotation.
This one is self explanatory. Obviously if you say "That's sick!" while speaking to one of your grandparents, they'll 100% question who's sick and be very confused. To today's youth, the word "sick" means "rad", "cool", and "awesome", but back in the day, the only definition for "sick" was having an illness or not feeling well.
"Call me on my cell" is a super common phrase of today's time. When we use the word "cell", nine times out of ten it is referring to a cellphone. Way back in the day, the term "cell" referred to a jail cell. Depressing, right?
"Awful" used to mean something that inspired awe. Completely different from today, right? Today, the term "awful" can mean something is bad or that someone looks terrible. It can also mean exceedingly great, as in "an awful lot of money."
To all adults (and all fish enthusiasts), a "catfish" is "A freshwater or marine fish with whisker-like barbels around the mouth, typically bottom-dwelling." Now, when a teen uses the term "catfish", it always means "A person who sets up a false personal profile on a social networking site for fraudulent or deceptive purposes." Oh how times have changed, and boy does our generation sound like a bunch of degenerates.
"Santa will know if you've been Naughty or Nice". Terrifying saying, but in today's time, true. All little kids are told Santa will determine whether they were naughty (bad, evil, or misbehaved) or nice (good, well-behaved, or obedient). This is a sentence completely foreign to people of older generations. Back in the day, if you were "naughty", you had naught or nothing.
"You're such a flirt!", "He was so flirting with you.", "Should I flirt back?", these are all sentences we've said at least once in our life. Today, the word "flirt" means to show an attraction to someone, to be a little intimate, and a way of getting someone's attention. In olden times, flirt meant flicking something away, flicking open a fan, or otherwise making a brisk or jerky motion.
I hope this cleared up some things for you. Hopefully you brush up on your vocabulary and can avoid those awkward conversations with your family; no more misunderstandings.