Editor’s Note: This article is part of Know Your Meme’s Top 10 Review looking back at some of the most memorable and popular memes, events and people that defined the Internet culture in 2012 as we know it. And brace yourselves, the grand finale list Best Memes of 2012 is coming soon!
Many slang terms proliferated across the web this year, spreading through forum posts, image macros and even Twitter hash tags. The Know Your Meme staff have gone back and analyzed a plethora of these Internet phrases and abbreviations, narrowing down 10 of the year’s most significant. There were several slang terms that didn’t quite make the cut but still deserve honorable mention, including Curlbro, Rack City, Meh and 5ever.
#10: U WOT M8
|Definition||Shorthand for the colloquialism “You what, mate?” used by English speakers from the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, typically used as an incredulous response to an incoherent proposition|
|Etymology||The online l33t-style shorthand of “M8” was first noted on Urban Dictionary in November of 2002 and the phrase “U WOT M8” was first used as a caption for an image of a confused-looking man in 2011.|
Person A: I like turtles.
Person B: U WOT M8?
|Variants||LOL WOT M8, Say hello to my little U WOT m8|
|Synonyms||O RLY?, LOLWut, Wat, WTF|
#9: You Tried
|Definition||A phrase used to caption a reaction image featuring a gold star, often used in a sarcastic and condescending manner to express feigned sympathy toward a failed attempt at humor or insult|
|Etymology||Believed to have originated on Tumblr sometime in May of 2012|
Person A: And then I said “U mad?”
Person B: You tried.
|Variants||you tried too hard, there was an attempt, i tried so hard and got so far but in the end it doesn’t even matter|
|Synonyms||Nailed It, Seems legit, 2deep4u|
|Definition||A slang term short for “swollen” used to describe someone who has developed large muscles or a well-defined physique from lifting weights|
|Etymology||Urban Dictionary user Dan P. submitted a definition for the term on April 27th, 1998|
I can’t wait to go to the gym and get swole.
|Variants||Old swole, Bad Luck Brian gets swole, Hipster swole|
#7: My Body is Ready
|Definition||Used to humorously convey excitement or anticipation|
|Etymology||Originally spoken by Nintendo executive Reggie Fils-Aime during a demonstration of the Wii Fit at an E3 press conference held on July 11th, 2007|
Person A: Did you hear that Half-Life 3 is finally coming out?
Person B: My body is ready.
|Variants||Body, are you ready, my body is groovy, My anatomical structure is most certainly adapted for the current situation|
|Synonyms||Dis gon b gud, Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo|
|Definition||Shorthand for “crazy,” indicating that something is profound, absurd or unbelievable|
|Etymology||Coined by YouTuber Andrew Gunadie on January 7th, 2011 and was used in the song “Niggas in Paris” by Kanye West and Jay-Z off their 2011 collaboration album Watch the Throne|
Person A: The moon landing was faked by the government.
Person B: That sh*t cray.
|Variants||cray cray, that sh*t cray|
|Synonyms||Impossibru, Where is your god now?, Are you a wizard?|
#5: That Feel
|Definition||Used to express sympathy toward someone else’s emotional state or used to invoke an emotion felt in a specific context|
|Etymology||Used as early as May 2010 on the German image board Krautchan|
Person A: That feel when you see police lights in your rear-view mirror
Person B: I know that feel bro.
|Variants||Why can’t I hold all these feels?, Feel with it, Do you even feel?|
|Synonyms||Manly tears, Feels Good Man, MFW|
|Definition||Shorthand for “swagger,” indicating a type of style or presence that exudes confidence|
|Etymology||“Swagger” saw a modern resurgence through its usage in hip hop lyrics, starting with Jay-Z in September of 2011 and “swag” was later popularized by rappers Soulja Boy and Lil B in 2010|
I forgot to turn my swag off and woke up covered in b*tches
|Variants||I’m sorry, I can’t hear you over my swag, #swag Spider-Man, #swagrid|
|Synonyms||Jack my swag, I’m so fresh you can suck my nuts, Suburban Hardass|
|Definition||A condescending expression used to criticize someone’s fitness expertise or weight lifting routine|
|Etymology||Body Building Forums member bubbaT used the phrase to insult forum member squirrel on February 16th, 2002|
Person A: I’m getting so swole from all these bicep curls.
Person B: Do you even lift?
|Variants||Did ancient aliens even lift?, Do you even gift?, Do you even science?|
|Synonyms||That’s cute, Mansplaining, Condescending Wonka|
|Definition||An acronym for the phrase “you only live once,” which is often used to excuse irresponsible behaviors or bring attention to exciting events|
|Etymology||Attributed to Adam Mesh from the third season of the NBC reality show The Average Joe, who launched the “You Only Live Once” clothing line on March 20th, 2004|
Person A: Why are you playing video games? Shouldn’t you be studying for final?
Person B: YOLO.
|Variants||YOWO, YLMT, OOYL|
|Synonyms||Carpe diem, hakuna matata, the answer to life, the universe and everything, FML|
|Definition||An expression that is used to convey feelings of discontent or discomfort in response to someone else’s post in imageboards and discussion forums, most notably on 4chan|
|Etymology||The phrase originated from FunnyJunk with an image macro of a a frowning gorilla posted by an anonymous user on June 16th, 2010|
Person A: Did you see that new advice animal entry on Know Your Meme?Person B: Yes, I did. That really rustled my jimmies.
|Variants||I Have Evolved Beyond The Need for Jimmies, You cannot even imagine how unrustled our jimmies are, Shh no tears only dreams now|
|Synonyms||FFFFUUUUUUUUUUUU, Actually it’s not OK, Son I’m disappoint|