Love them or hate them, slang words help us express emotions for which no words otherwise exist. But where do these words come from? We went back to the beginning to learn how our latest cultural vernacular was born.

Legit

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Most people may think this word originated with MC Hammer after he released his 1991 hit, “2 Legit 2 Quit,” but it actually showed up during the later half of the 19th century in theater groups. They used the word to refer to “legitimate drama,” also known as a well-written piece. Ever wonder if the slang words you use are solely regional? Here are some slang words no one outside of your state will understand.

Adulting

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“Adulting” is a very popular word among Millennials, who look often use it jokingly when they engage in adult-like behavior such as preparing taxes, buying a home, or mowing the lawn. The exact origins are a little murky, but it supposedly first showed up in a 2008 Twitter post. It then took six years to enter the mainstream and gain notoriety on Urban Dictionary in June 2014. If you know what adulting is, you should probably know these other social media slang terms by now.

Throw shade

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“Throwing shade” could be an Olympic sport, as it clearly requires mad skill! The word was first propelled into the mainstream after its excessive use on RuPaul’s reality TV show Drag Race, and now everyone from fathers to grandmothers uses it to carry out passive aggressive acts online and IRL (in real life). If you want to know how true shade throwers perform, look no further than the stars of the Real Housewives of Atlanta. It’s so shady over there, it’s hard to imagine how any of them see clearly. Although “throw shade” is a pretty neat way to describe the act of insulting someone, these other slang words need to end.