A great AskMetaFilter question asks “What’s the new word for ‘cool’?”
As a Gen-Xer, I usually find myself pseudo-ironically using “rad” or “awesome” whenever I think something is totally killer. When a friend asked what word college students use now-a-days (he’s going to be teaching undergrads), I had to admit that I’m officially an out of touch old fogey. I know “cool” has spanned decades of continued usage, but what are the real generation-defining phrases of today’s 18-year-olds, in the same way that “cat’s pajamas” or “solid” are tied to an era?
There are plenty of answers from actual college and high-school students; executive summary (by the original poster; I’ve added italics for clarity):
● Sweet, awesome, nice, hot, and to a lesser degree sick, through the miraculous preservative powers of irony, have managed to maintain their coolness from 80’s surf/skate culture. Bitchin’, gnarly and rad? Totally bogus.
● Tight and dope have survived from 80’s hip-hop culture, while def, phat and fresh are not-so-fresh anymore.
● Shiny, official, pimp as an adjective, and possibly clutch have definite potential, and I hope to see more of these brash newcomers.