14 Slang Terms That People Used to Say in the ’90s

The ’90s was the best decade for slang and we still use a whole bunch of it—much to our children’s embarrassment.


When the word very is just too unhip, it’s best to use way, as in “That jacket is way cool.”


If something’s very bad, it’s harsh, as in the classic line from Clueless, “That was way harsh, Tai.”


If someone needs to both chill and relax, then they need to chillax. Here’s some extra ’90s trivia for you: the first use of chillax, according to the OED, was in 1994 on a Usenet group forum about Quentin Tarantino movies: “Chillax, my friend. I agree with most of your sentiments about Tarantino and his use of violence as comedy.” We’re imagining the poster drank some Crystal Pepsi before typing that.


Short sarcastic retorts were a big deal in the ’90s, and this one debuted in 1990 in a “Wayne’s World” sketch (watch it here) where Myers says, “Anyways, Barry, that was really interesting . . . Not!” Then the word not so permeated youth culture that the American Dialect Society named it their Word of the Year in 1992.


Your house or apartment. Or your room. Wherever you lay your head, as popularized by MTV’s Cribs.

Bling Bling

You could use bling bling as a noun meaning jewellery, as in “Hey, look at this new bling bling my boyfriend got me.” Or you could use it as an adjective to describe something flashy, as in “Man, now that I repainted my car it’s totally bling bling!”


Speaking of goofy basement-dwelling rockers, Bill and Ted popularized the word excellent as an expression of joy and approval. They use the word about 30 times in the movie.

Cut It Out!

Popularized by Joey on Full House, this one came with hand gestures.

As If!

Speaking of short sarcastic retorts, “as if!” makes it back into our rotation every time we watch Clueless.

Raise the Roof

You couldn’t sit through a sports game in the ’90s without the announcers telling you to raise the room, which meant to start cheering loudly. With that said, they were actually dusting this phrase off from yesteryear—it dates back to the 1800s.


Hella means very. So when No Doubt says things are “Hella Good”, they’re very good.

Da Bomb

The best thing is da bomb. If these chips are da bomb, they’re the best chips ever. These days, da bomb is more famous as a hot sauce on the YouTube show Hot Ones.

How You Doin’?

We’re not sure if Joey from Friends coined the pickup phrase “how you doin’?” but he certainly made it his own.

Boo Yah!

This fun way of saying heck yeah was popularized by sportscaster Scott Stuart. Thanks to him, it ended up everywhere in the ’90s.