According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, etymology is the “the history of a word,” or “explanation where a word came from.”

For those who already knew the definition, cheers. For those who didn’t and could possibly see it in the vocabulary portion of the SAT, you’re welcome.

It seems each year, or decade, certain words or phrases catch on.

In early decades there was “kisser” to mean mouth, “dig” to mean someone understands, “groovy,” meaning cool, “gag me with a spoon” to express dislike and others predating my existence.

During the 1990s and early 2000s, words and phrases used included “dope” to mean great, not drugs; “ice” or “bling” to mean jewelry with diamonds; and “my bad” to mean you made a mistake.

With the advancement of social media, phrases such as “tweet me” referring to Twitter, “friend me” referring to adding someone on a social media site and other sayings developed that continue to meet blank stares by my 70-year-old father.

Circa 2009, the phrase “totes McGotes,” uttered in a movie to more or less update the 1980s phrase “totally,” made its way to T-shirts.

Though rolling my eyes when hearing it, I couldn’t help but watch in awe when actor James Earl Jones uttered the phrase in a commercial.

In the 2004 movie “Mean Girls,” one of the actors portraying a high school student attempts to infiltrate the school with the term “fetch,” to mean cool or awesome.

Another student responds with “stop trying to make ‘fetch’ happen. It’s not going to happen.”

Yet certain words and phrases happen, but they need to un-happen.

It’s unknown what phrases may catch on in 2016, but it wouldn’t hurt my feelings if certain ones from 2015 and the past few years are never uttered again.

According to Merriam-Webster, “bey” was first known to be used in 1537 and has Turkish origins.

Yet, somehow the word took on a meaning of baby, I think, as a term of endearment within the past few years. Bey and plastering the words on shirts has got to go.

Apparently, “basic” was originally used describing females, or others, who preferred certain coffee, television shows and fashion. Basically, I hope it’s never stated again.

Using the phrase “I can’t even,” without following up leads to me to question, “You can’t even finish your thought?”

“Hipster” caught on to describe what other generations might refer to as Bohemians, or those with a certain style. I’d like to think hipsters don’t want to be categorized.

The phrase “man bun” has been heard in the Herald offices and perhaps personally used. It’s exactly how it sounds, describing the hairstyle men show.

Both the hairstyle and phrase need to be cut.

To conclude, I challenge those to grab their hipster bey with a man bun, or any other hairstyle across genders, who “can’t even,” to pick up a dictionary or Thesaurus in 2016 to learn a new “basic” term.

Rachael Riley covers Harker Heights and Nolanville. Contact her at or 254-501-7553.

Contact Rachael Riley at or 254-501-7553

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