These Are the Most Popular Slang Words by State

published Oct 8, 2023
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Love them or hate them, slang words are an unshakeable part of our modern vocabulary, with each new addition rising and falling in popularity over time. But have you ever wondered what the most popular U.S. slang is?

To find out, the tutoring platform Preply analyzed Google Trends search data and spoke to over 1,000 survey participants. The Preply team divided their findings into two categories: “vintage” slang words that have been around for decades, and TikTok slang words that are currently popular on the video-sharing app.

Credit: Preply

When it comes to vintage slang, “FOMO” (fear of missing out) and “chill” were the most-searched terms nationwide. Going state by state, the slightly disgusting slang term “barf me out” came in first place and was the most popular vintage slang term in nine states. Following closely behind is “daddy-o,” which was the most popular vintage slang in six states.

Washington is the U.S. state most interested in vintage slang, according to Google Trends search data, followed by Pennsylvania in second place and Delaware in third place.

Credit: Preply

In terms of newer, TikTok-famous slang, “ghosted” and “sus” were the most-searched terms in the United States in the past 12 months. When it comes to individual states, the slang term “Sksksk” (more commonly referred to as “keyboard smashing”) was by far the most popular, ranking at number 1 in a whopping 24 states. Following far behind it are the slang terms “lit” (five states), “savage” (three states), and “sus” (three states).

Hawaii is the state most interested in TikTok slang terms, followed by Maryland in second place and Illinois in third place.

You can check out which slang words are most popular in your state and read the full study here.