13 Important Internet Cliches Whose Meanings Have Changed This Year


13 Important Internet Cliches Whose Meanings Have Changed This Year


Language moves at such an accelerated pace online that by the time it makes it into common usage it may no longer even mean what it was originally intended to. Here are a few words and phrases whose meanings have changed over the course of the last year or so. Update your style guides accordingly.

Poe’s Law
Used to mean: Without overt demonstration of humor it’s impossible to distinguish between satire and idiocy.
Now means: I am too dumb to recognize obvious satire when I see it and should probably log off.


Used to mean: Institutional sexism phenomenon in which men condescendingly insert their dumbass opinions into the conversations of women online in a patronizing manner.
Now means: A get-out-of-being-wrong-free card for a woman with a bad take.

Used to mean: A purposefully misleading or hyperbolic headline designed to lure readers into clicking on a link to a story which does not pay off on the implied promise.
Now means: Something one doesn’t agree with online.

Used to mean: To demonstrate the truth of something.
Now means: Empty placeholder in a headline.

To Stan for
Used to mean: To obsess over a pop culture figure, often a rapper.
Now means: I’m a fucking child speaking to other children on Twitter.

Used to mean: A reference to the popular musical act Beyonce’s whole thing.
Now means: I’m the type of person that shares BoredPanda links.

Used to mean: Before anyone else/Better than all the rest/boyfriend/girlfriend.
Now means: I’m the social media manager for a national sandwich concern.

“They do some good longform journalism.”
Used to mean: Despite its reputation as a turd-crusted meme factory, popular website Buzzfeed also publishes quality journalism.
Now means: My friend got hired at Buzzfeed.


Transformations in the Arab World: Fareed Zakaria


Used to mean: Taking someone else’s work and falsely representing it as your own.
Now means: When someone of a lower professional standing takes the work of their superiors and represents it as their own.

Manual RT
Used to mean: Sharing someone’s pithy one-liner or observation with your followers in order to signal boost it.
Now means: Setting up a tollbooth featuring your goofy face in front of someone else’s Tweet in order to siphon off some of the perceive value.



Used to mean: A person whose hobbies include playing video games and discussing them online.
Now means: Misogynist.

Used to mean: A stereotypically fratty douche obsessed with sports and getting pussy and pounding beers.
Now means: A human male who you don’t like.

Used to mean: A person who sets out to systematically frustrate or harass others through online abuse.
Now means: Someone who disagrees with you.

Used to mean: A picture one takes of oneself.
Now means: A picture.