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Common phrases on TikTok and what they mean
Social media can be both a beautiful and utterly strange place. Day by day, new words and abbreviations are their own type of cultural memes that go viral as fast as the trendiest videos. With over one billion users worldwide, TikTok has been the perfect breeding ground for all sorts of new phrases. Here’s a guide to the most popular slang terms on TikTok.
Read more: How to make TikTok videos: A beginners guide
JUMP TO POPULAR PHRASES
What does ‘AS’ mean on TikTok?
‘AS’ refers to Adult Swim, the adult-oriented nighttime programming block, and to a growing trend on TikTok where users create their own variations of its classic commercial break bumpers. You may remember from watching the channel that these bumpers often featured footage of a random place with chill beats playing in the background. Then, the iconic [Adult Swim] logo would appear at the end.
Surprisingly, this wasn’t a marketing campaign started by Adult Swim. TikTok users started the trend as a fun, creative, and nostalgic exercise. However, Adult Swim did respond to the trend on its official TikTok account, posting a video with text reading, “We’ve been talking to you like this for a long time. It’s nice to see you talking back to us. Let’s keep it going.”
What does ‘ASL’ mean on TikTok?
You may have thought that ‘ASL’ refers to sign language, but you’d be wrong. ASL is an older internet abbreviation for ‘age, sex, location.’ As you can guess, it’s usually used in conversation to get basic information or know someone better. However, the term has also taken on new meaning as a shorthand for “as hell.” I guess it sort of sounds similar when you say it fast, right?
What does ‘Pushin P’ mean on TikTok?
Pushing P pushed its way to the top of TikTok mainstream in January 2021, with the release of Gunna and Future’s new track ‘Pushin’ P.’
What is the ‘P’ that he is pushing? Well, aside from any sexual undertones you may have suspected, the term ‘P’ can basically stand for anything positive, such as power, prosperity, or reaching your peak performance. Gunna explained during an interview, “if you wake up to a beach view, that’s P. If you spent thousands on a Rolex watch, that’s P. If you hold the door for a lady, that’s P. Arguing with your partner about money ain’t P. We ain’t doing that. We’re pushing P.”
What does ‘POV’ mean on TikTok?
On TikTok, ‘POV’ carries the same meaning as it does in everyday usage; Point of View. ‘POV’ is used in captions to indicate when the viewer is meant to be watching whatever content from a first-person perspective. The term is often used to set up a funny reaction, following the format of “POV when in X situation.”
What does ‘BBL’ mean on TikTok?
As odd as it may sound, ‘BBL’ is an acronym for a surgery called a Brazilian Butt Lift, which transports fat from other areas of the body to the gluteus maximus to make it bigger. TikTok users share videos before and after the cosmetic procedure to show off the results.
What does ‘MID’ mean on TikTok?
‘Mid’ has become a popular shorthand for the term Mediocre. TikTok users will say something is ‘mid’ if it’s not terrible but not super exciting either — it’s that middle ground of just okay. If you’ve been on a receiving end of a ‘mid’ comment or caption, don’t feel too bad, we’re sure you have lots of talent they haven’t seen. And you can always block the haters if they get too aggressive.
What does ‘FYP’ mean on TikTok?
‘FYP’ is a term that originated on TikTok because it refers to its central hub, the For You Page. The ‘FYP’ is the feed of videos you can watch and scroll through when you log into the app.
Everyone’s feed is different, which is why the page is “for you.” Rather than just showing you videos from people you follow, TikTiok’s algorithm delivers popular, viral, and niche videos it thinks you will like based on your personal viewing habits and likes.
What does ‘IB’ mean on TikTok?
If you see the term ‘IB’ in a TikTok video, it means that the video has been ‘inspired by’ another user’s video. Most often, they are repeating a viral or notable skit or challenge. Since it’s always important to credit your sources, the originator’s @ handle will usually be tagged beside the hashtag.
What does ‘Material Girl’ mean on TikTok?
Material Girl is another music-inspired TikTok trend. It began with users using the song in videos portraying someone enjoying the finer things in life or flaunting their wealth. I guess you could say it’s the soundtrack to a luxurious lifestyle.
What does ‘SMH’ mean on TikTok?
‘SMH’ stands for a motion you may have been doing while reading through this guide, ‘shaking my head.’ TikTok users will often respond with ‘SMH’ to videos or comments that leave them speechless or as a sign of disappointment. Alas, such an experience has become so common to earn its own abbreviation. Need a break from TikTok?
Read more: What does “ratio” mean on TikTok?
The phrase “Let’s go Brandon” is in reference to a viral video featuring the NASCAR Racer Brandon Brown. In the video, the crowd behind him is chanting “f*** Joe Biden” however, the reporter then claims the chant is “let’s go Brandon.” This was regarded as damage control, which TikTok users pounced on, using the phrase to poke fun at the political fumble.
The term ‘TikTok’ is an onomatopoeia that represents the sound of a clock ticking. This is in reference to the short timespan of videos on the social media platform.
As for the deeper, philosophical question, there is no grand meaning to TikTok other than to have fun, make friends and laugh.