The Best Slang Terms From the 1990s That Aren't Cool Today

Best Life Editors
·6 mins read

The 1990s were the best for so many reasons. There was the grunge fashion, the iconic boy bands, and hilarious fads we'll never forget (looking at you, slap bracelets). But if you're stuck in '90s nostalgia, you may sound like it too, especially if you're still using the slang terms that were popular back in the day. Whether you're talking like a Valley Girl and saying "As if!" like Cher in Clueless or calling your best buds "home skillets," these are the outdated phrases that are setting you back in time to before the new millennium. And for more cool terms that have become passé, check out the 100 Slang Terms From the 20th Century No One Uses Anymore.

1

As if!

still from clueless
still from clueless

If you grew up in the '90s, then you know—and probably worshipped—the hit teen movie Clueless, where this term originated. "As if" was used when you'd talk about something preposterous or ridiculous that would never actually happen.

Example: "Wanna go out?" "Ugh, as if!"

And for more famous celebrities from this era, check out The Biggest '90s TV Teen Idols, Then and Now.

2

All that and a bag of chips

african american man in a red outfit
african american man in a red outfit

This was the ultimate compliment in the mid-'90s. It meant that a person or thing was even more awesome than you'd expect.

Example: "Stacy may be the coolest girl in school, but Janet is all that and a bag of chips."

And for more nostalgia that kids today don't appreciate, check out the 100 Photos That Kids Born After 2000 Will Never Understand.

3

All

Two female friends talking at a coffee shop
Two female friends talking at a coffee shop

Today, we use the word "like" as filler in our conversations. But in the '90s, the go-to term was "all."

Example: "She was all… then he was all…"

4

Da bomb

Man bringing some beer to the friends.
Man bringing some beer to the friends.

When a place or situation was really amazing in the '90s, you'd say it was "da bomb."

Example: "That sleepover was da bomb!"

5

Booyah!

Happy man looking at his phone on the couch cheering
Happy man looking at his phone on the couch cheering

Have you ever been so excited about something but didn't have an expression that quite fit your level of happiness? That's where "Booyah!" came in in the '90s.

Example: "Did you hear class was canceled?" "Booyah!!"

6

Fly

hipster man
hipster man

When something was "fly," it was considered really stylish or cool. It usually described an outfit, accessory, or car.

Example: "His bomber jacket is fly."

And for more killer looks, check out the Fashion Trends Only Cool '90s Kids Will Remember.

7

Whatever

girl annoyed at her talking friend
girl annoyed at her talking friend

Another iconic word from Clueless, "whatever" was usually said sarcastically and accommodated by an eye roll. It was an easy way to end a conversation you'd rather not be having.

Example: "Do your homework, Carrie." "Whatever."

8

Loser

woman holds an L on her forehead for the loser sign
woman holds an L on her forehead for the loser sign

Yes, we still use the word loser in our lingo. But not with our fingers in the shape of an L on our foreheads, as Smash Mouth would go on to sing so famously in their hit song "All Star."

Example: "OK, loser."

9

My bad

woman shrugging, every day words
woman shrugging, every day words

This was a quick and easy apology if you made a mistake or did something wrong. Instead of saying, "I'm sorry," you'd say "My bad."

Example: "I totally forgot to call her. My bad!"

10

No duh

People talking
People talking

"No duh" was the best joking response when someone was stating the obvious.

Example: "The sky is so blue!" "No duh."

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11

Talk to the hand

A young annoyed white female giving talk to hand gesture with palm outward
A young annoyed white female giving talk to hand gesture with palm outward

In the '90s, if you got in a fight with your BFF, the best clapback to a sassy comment was "talk to the hand." Think of it as another way to say "shut up." And if you wanted to throw in extra attitude, you'd tack on, "'Cause the face don't wanna listen."

Example: "You're so lame for not wanting to come to the party tonight." "Talk to the hand."

12

Not

young judgmental latinx man squints at camera
young judgmental latinx man squints at camera

OK, yes, you definitely use this term in your day-to-day life, but not in the same way as we did in the '90s. When you wanted to play a trick on a friend, you'd agree with what they said and then hit them with a sarcastic role reversal.

Example: "Nickelback is the greatest band ever… NOT!"

13

Oh no she didn't

friends gossiping while sitting on a sidewalk
friends gossiping while sitting on a sidewalk

When drama went down or fighting words were exchanged, '90s kids would typically say, "Oh no she didn't!"

Example: "Rose didn't make room for Jack on the door." "Oh no she didn't!"

14

Oh, snap

Close-up portrait of her she nice cute lovely charming attractive beautiful minded wavy-haired lady touching chin looking aside isolated over bright vivid shine background.
Close-up portrait of her she nice cute lovely charming attractive beautiful minded wavy-haired lady touching chin looking aside isolated over bright vivid shine background.

This fun '90s exclamation was made when something shocking or unexpected happened.

Example: "Did you hear that Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears are dating?" "Oh, snap!"

15

Cool beans

young woman giving thumbs up
young woman giving thumbs up

Though "great" or "sure" would suffice, it was much more fun to say "cool beans."

Example: "I'll pick you up at 8." "Cool beans."

16

Your mom

Couple fighting in the woods
Couple fighting in the woods

"Your mom" or "Yo mama" was the ultimate insult to throw at someone when you were in a fight.

Example: "I don't like you anymore." "Well, I don't like yo mama!"

17

Bounce

group of friends in a car
group of friends in a car

When you and your crew were ready to go somewhere, you'd announce, "Let's bounce!" You could also say "We outtie."

Example: "Our ride is here. Let's bounce!"

18

Dip

Business man leaving door with exit sign
Business man leaving door with exit sign

Dip had the same meaning as bounce and was typically used upon leaving a party or place.

Example: "It's midnight, I gotta dip."

19

Crib

Mansion with convertible
Mansion with convertible

If you lived in a cool apartment or house, you'd call it a crib, a slang term made even more popular when MTV Cribs premiered in 2000.

Example: "Welcome to my crib!"

20

Dope

Girl dancing in her kitchen
Girl dancing in her kitchen

Dope was synonymous with fly or even "rad" for those '80s folks.

Example: "Your dance moves are dope!"

21

Home skillet

Male friends high-fiving at the bar
Male friends high-fiving at the bar

For some reason, we all called our best buds "home skillet" in the '90s as a term of endearment.

Example: "Hey, home skillet! Glad you could make it to the party!"

22

Take a chill pill

man with hands up telling someone whoa chill out, slang terms
man with hands up telling someone whoa chill out, slang terms

If a friend or family member was upset over something you considered trivial, you'd tell them to calm down by taking a chill pill.

Example: "Jeez, it's not that big of a deal. Take a chill pill."

23

Word

young black man taking a selfie and giving a thumbs up
young black man taking a selfie and giving a thumbs up

By saying "word," you were agreeing with someone or showing that you understood something. It's synonymous with the expression "that's cool."

Example: "I love this flannel shirt." "Word."

24

Buggin' out

white woman looking sad with white man behind her throwing up his hand in anger
white woman looking sad with white man behind her throwing up his hand in anger

Let's say someone was acting differently than they usually did or picking a fight by blowing a comment out of proportion. In this case, you'd usually ask why they were "buggin' out."

Example: "You seem off… Why are you buggin'?"

25

Wassup

friends saying hello
friends saying hello

As a friendly greeting, you wouldn't ask, "How are you?" or "What are you up to?" In the '90s, you'd get straight to the point with a "Wassup?" or simply "Sup?"

Example: "Wassup, dude?"

And if you loved growing up in the '90s, check out the 25 Reasons Why Being a Kid in the '90s Totally Ruled.