the way we tweet

The 2014 Twitter Glossary: Hot Take, Shruggie, and More

It was, both online and off, a very long year. But if there’s one thing we could rely on in 2014, it was Twitter’s (mostly Media Twitter’s) penchant for making up its own words, phrases, and inside jokes, then repeating them over and over and over again until we beckon for the sweet embrace of death. Here, a Twitter glossary for 2014.

1, 2, 3

The Daily Dot calls this form of advanced Twitter punctuation the “1, 2, 3.” The three dancing men are usually deployed to emphasize an opinion or joke, or to make your run-of-the-mill complaints more eye-catching.


This was the year we discovered that dudes say actually a lot before launching into a long, mansplain-y diatribe about why your opinion is wrong. Once Media Twitter co-opted the phrase as its own, it became an easy quip — a simple way to turn a serious conversation amusing or to jokingly tell someone they’re wrong.

Can u not

An expression of annoyance I always imagine is said with Valley Girl inflection; a way to tell someone they’re getting on your nerves, but, like, in a cute and friendly way.


Twitter users have always been particularly ornery about clickbait headlines, rejecting them faster and more definitively than anyone on Facebook. But over the summer we saw the rise of the “clicksaving” accounts like @savedyouaclick, which retweet clickbait articles and append the answer to the headline’s curiosity gap. People had opinions. The Verge got really mad about it. Such is Twitter.

Congrats/”Some personal news”

Some personal news is how every person in media or tech announces they’ve accepted a new job offer. Congrats is the noncommittal-but-you-feel-obligated-to-say-something response to their personal news.


Once the word you used instead of damn so your parents couldn’t get mad at you, dang joined the Twitter lexicon in 2014 as an expression of disappointment or surprise. 

Ethics in ___

We have only #Gamergate to blame for this one. “Actually, it’s about ethics in game journalism” became a rallying cry for a group of tenacious man-babies angry about girls playing video games as a way to gaslight their opponents. Soon, journalism was replaced with … just about anything. Actually, it’s about ethics in Nazi allusions. Actually, it’s about ethics in lightsaber design. You get the picture.


If we had to pick one word that represented everything about Twitter, from the links it circulates to the interactions it fosters to the harassment it condones, we’d have to pick garb — not the synonym for clothing, but the shortened version of the word garbage. Twitter? Garb. The internet? Garb. 2014? Fucking GARB.

Hot Take

The latest indictment of the media’s unraveling (by the people creating the media) is disparaging the “hot take.” Hot takes are controversial angles on otherwise boring stories. Think Slate pitches or people who are constantly trying to capture the male point of view on women’s issues. You can seriously have a hot take, you can jokingly have a hot take, and you can ironically have a hot take. Is writing a bajillion words about the inside jokes a swath of people used on Twitter a hot take? Maybe. Or maybe it’s just garb.

Never Tweet

A nihilistic Twitter user’s favorite phrase. “Never tweet,” you tweet ironically, acknowledging full well that you will continue feeding the content beast until you are a pile of bones and ash.

Not All Men

Another term flung around sarcastically by feminists on Twitter this year, “Not All Men” is representative of the kind of male feminist or ally who attempts to derail conversations about gender inequality by proving that he’s not guilty of those crimes. As Jess Zimmerman succinctly described it for, “It’s a sharp, damning satire of a familiar kind of bad-faith argument, the one where a male interlocutor redirects a discussion about sexism, misogyny, rape culture, or women’s rights to instead be about how none of that is his fault.”


A stranger who injects themselves, in an unwelcome manner, into a conversation.


Finally, in 2014, we got an emoji for ennui. The shruggie is the universal symbol of “lol nothing matters,” the nihilistic Twitter user’s go-to response. It is a quick reminder that everything — especially Twitter — is completely fucking meaningless.

Sign Bunny

This was real hot for about three days on Twitter in early September before Vox did an explainer on it and it flamed out with the ferocity of a thousand suns. It’s a bunny holding what’s supposed to be a protest sign, but you can add any language of your choosing inside the sign. 

Sliding Into DMs

DMing someone you don’t really know that well, especially late at night, especially if you’re doing so as a way to flirt with them.


Someone desperate or pathetic; someone who craves attention all the time. The thirstiest people on Twitter are brands.

True Detective Season Two

A game that, frankly, survived for way too long, in which people named hilariously mismatched duos who could be part of the cast of True Detective season two. 


Whether numbered or stacked, Tweetstorms are a way for long-winded people to express numerous remarks about a single idea without losing the thread. They are annoying because, as one Vulture writer put it, “i don’t need yr journey.”

Here’s to being even more irritating in 2015!

2014 Twitter Glossary: Hot Take, Shruggie & More