The English language is constantly evolving, but not everyone is keen on how much it’s changed over the years.
Much to the dismay of grannies across the nation, new words including ‘hubby’ and ‘furbaby’ are commonplace today, while extreme hyperbole like ‘I literally died’ tends to unnoticed in day-do-day life.
Phrases that didn’t exist 20 years ago, such as ‘a cheeky Nando’s’ are now simply part of our culture, while catchphrases like ‘it is what it is’ are becoming increasingly popular thanks to contestants on shows like Love Island.
Taking to the internet to share their rage in a Gransnet thread, people have revealed exactly which words and phrases make them shudder – as well as sharing their grammatical qualms.
Speaking to FEMAIL, Babbel cultural expert Claire Larkin has revealed exactly why we use these phrases and where they originate from.
Gransnet thread has revealed the words and phrases grandmothers can’t stand and Babbel cultural expert, Claire Larkin has revealed exactly why we use them. Pictured, stock image
Shortened from ‘husband’, this is an informal term that younger women use to refer to their male spouses — or occasionally to a long term boyfriend that they’re likely to marry.
Interestingly, the first use of ‘hubby’ can actually be traced all the way back to the 1600s.
The word was associated with house ownership, which was a status symbol at the time, and thus made these men more attractive to their potential wives.
A furbaby is a term to refer to someone’s much loved cuddly pet – usually a cat or dog.
The word has been used as a way to recognise the important role that pets play in our lives, even to the extent of regarding them as children.
The term was first added to the Oxford Dictionary in 2015, and it’s been followed by a sharp spike in pet spending: British people spent the equivalent of £68 per person last year on their fluffy friends.
A CHEEKY NANDO’S
The British slang term, ‘a cheeky Nando’s’, refers to when someone is heading out to the popular chicken restaurant chain Nando’s for a bite to eat.
Words like ‘Furbaby’, which was first added to the Oxford Dictionary in 2015, was revealed to be one of the offenders driving older women crazy. Pictured, stock image
This is usually done with a couple of mates after having a few pints – or ‘bevs’ – down at the pub.
The phrase has previously caused confusion in America and is considered to be a cultural reference that is quintessentially British.
IT IS WHAT IT IS
The phrase ‘it is what it is’ can be traced back to a 1949 article in The Nebraska State Journal, where it was used to describe harsh conditions in the local area, but would later become a popular phrase in US sports broadcasting to discuss team losses.
In the UK, the phrase has recently been reinvigorated by the reality TV show, Love Island.
It was repeatedly invoked by contestants looking to secure the £50,000 prize, who used the saying to show they were accepting a situation literally ‘as it is’ – whether they liked it or not.
Not to be confused with the original ‘Hun’, which referred to a member of the nomadic tribe famously led by Attila the Hun, the modern use of the word ‘hun’ is actually a term of endearment.
A shortened version of ‘honey’, it’s the millennial way of showing affection towards a friend, family member, or partner.
The expression has been incorporated into the phrase ‘U OK, hun?’, which is a more sarcastic colloquialism used to question someone’s behaviour.
Much like hun, ‘babe’ is a millennial term of endearment. In slang, this can also be used when speaking to any gender, whether in a relationship context or when referring to a good mate.
This word can be traced back to the 1800s, and according to the Oxford Dictionary, was first used in a romantic context in 1911.
Millennial terms of endearment like ‘hun and babe’ are also not favourites of the older generation. Pictured, stock image
It’s traditionally been used to describe women, but started being used to describe men by 1973.
The word ‘basically’ is typically used to refer to the main or most important aspect of something, and use of this term has been rising sharply since the 1950s.
However, it can sometimes ruffle feathers because it’s considered ‘improper’ in some circles to start a sentence with an adverb.
Basically, it’s a term to avoid throwing around in formal settings – especially if it’s your opening line.
I LITERALLY DIED
‘Literally’ comes from the latin word littera, which means letter. It’s supposed to mean that something is exactly the way that it’s described, but obviously no one using the expression these days has ‘literally’ died.
Instead, it’s used colloquially for emphasis or to express strong feelings about a situation.
Unfortunately, this is why it can be an irritating term for people who believe that the word should be used in its literal sense, as the modern use turns the word’s definition on its head.
‘Like’ is considered to be the origin of the suffix ‘-ly’, which means that terms like ‘slowly’ and ‘saintly’ actually originated from the words ‘slow-like’ and ‘saint-like’.
Starting a sentence with ‘So’ also proved to be a pet peeve of grandmothers. Pictured, stock image
The more modern usage of the term has been associated with the Beatniks in the 1950s, and today it’s used in many different contexts, acting more as a connecting word or emphasiser in sentences.
STARTING A SENTENCE WITH ‘SO’
‘So’ is a conjunction word, like ‘therefore’ or ‘however’, which means it makes a big impact at the beginning of the sentence.
Linguists refer to ‘so’ as a discourse marker, which is used to describe words that connect ideas in conversation.
It can annoy some people if it’s used to start a sentence without context, as this means it isn’t connecting any ideas at all.
However, you’ve probably noticed that millennials use it that way frequently in informal, spoken settings. So that’s just the way it is.
If you’re ‘on trend’, then you’re thought to be conforming with the current fashion trends of the time.
This phrase can be traced back to the 1950s, when it was used to describe popular emerging fashions or cultural customs, but it was actually originally used to describe rivers in the 1500s (‘to run or bend in a certain direction’).
Today it’s also used frequently to describe ‘trends’ related to social media, which has given us the new word ‘trending’.