Back To Good Old Days: Vocabulary From The Early 2000s

Grover Laughtonreviewed byNataliia Afonina / more about Editorial Process18 min
Created: Jan 17, 2023Last updated: Jan 24, 2024
Vocabulary From The Early 2000s

Yo, dawgs! Waz crackin’! You're probably wondering why we are throwing all this long-forgotten 2000s slang at you. Don’t worry – we are not out of our minds yet. We are just trying to immerse you into the astonishing atmosphere of English words we used more than twenty years ago. You probably know that history and trends are cyclical, and everything is turning back with time. And now, along with low-rise jeans, the slang fashion from the 00s is coming back to us. That's why today we'll give you all the details on this exciting topic. 

Why do we need to remember the 2000 slang?

As we always say, learning English slang is an integral part of the language-studying process. New words appear every day (just think about all Karens and slays we’ve learned from TikTok), so why do we need to know early 2000s slang as well? Here are some reasons: 

  1. Trend cyclicity. Fashion and trends are always returning. Remember how we all wore low-rise jeans in the 00s, switched them for high-waisted ones, and now low-rises are back in the game? The same thing is happening with slang – words that were popular over twenty years ago are coming back into our daily speeches. 
  2. Vocabulary expanding. Just like any other terms, 2000’s slang words and expressions are a perfect way to expand your vocabulary and add something new and exciting to casual conversations. 
  3. Learning the culture. Any slang expression is originated from somewhere. So if you want to understand its meaning or find out the proper definition, you should find out its history, whether you like it or not. That is why learning slang words from different areas can help you understand the culture of people back then. 
  4. Just fun. Some 2000s sayings make absolutely no sense today, but others still describe our lives perfectly. Hence, it is really exciting to know them and know how to use them in this or that situation

All these reasons show you the importance of learning different types of slang. You already know what words and catchphrases were popular in the 90s, so now it’s time to turn on your time machine and enter the next exciting decade. 

Popular 2000-2010 slang we have to bring back

Y2K was the beginning of the century. Hence, people were thrilled and excited to see what the future looked like. And they have been using countless amazing words, phrases, and idioms to express their emotions. Here is our list of popular slang from the 2000s that you can use even today. 

  • Sick. 

Now we use the word sick to define illness or unhealthy feelings. In the 00s, youth used it to explain something awesome and cool. For example:

Have you been to Janice’s party yesterday? It was sick, bro. 

Your dress is sick! Where did you buy it?

  • Chillax. 

This early 2000 slang word combines two terms – chill and relax. Even though both words have similar meanings, it doesn’t impact the coolness of this term. For example:

Chillax, dude. It’s gonna be alright. 

You need to chillax. You look extremely stressed. 

  • Bare. 

We use the word barely to define something or someone with a specified small size, length, age, etc. (he’s barely an adult). The word bare, on the other hand, means a lot of something, it is a synonym for the word very. You can see its definition in the Urban Dictionary added back in 2004. For example:

Actually, his voice is bare annoying. 

I know that he has bare money. 

  • ‘Rents. 

If you were a teenager back in the 2000s, you probably knew this term. It is a cute and short form of the word parents. For example:

I’m throwing a party tomorrow. My ‘rents are leaving the town. 

Can you ask your ‘rents about it?

  • Buff. 

This word describes someone attractive (mostly for guys, not girls). If someone is good-looking, fit, and strong, you can call them buff. For example:

I can’t believe she is going out with him! He is so buff. 

This guy is buff. You should ask him out. 

  • Sketchy. 

In the 00s, teenagers used this word to describe someone or something suspicious and not trustworthy. And today, you can also hear it from some people since it is one of those 2000 slang words that are coming back. For example:

I don’t trust him. He is so sketchy!

She only texts you when she is in trouble. It’s sketchy, girl. 

  • Biatch. 

This NSFW term is another way to call your friend in the 00s style. It’s pronounced like “bee-ach,” and as you’ve probably guessed, it is a form of the word b*tch. For example: 

See you later, biatch! 

Hey, biatch! Wassup?

  • Neek. 

This term was also created as a combination of two other words – nerd and geek. And obviously, it is used to describe someone with the characteristics of both nerds and geeks. For example: 

This guy is a classic neek. I don’t want to talk to him. 

I want to ask this neek to the prom. Why? Because why not. 

  • Dawg. 

Another word you can use when talking to your friend. It describes someone you enjoy talking to and spending time with. For example:

Hey, dawg! Are you going to the club tonight? 

Buy, dawg. Love ya. 

  • Homeskillet. 

Nothing much to say, this slang term is a synonym for the previous one – it also means friend, bro, buddy, and all these words. For example: 

Sup, homeskillet. 

  • Fetch. 

According to Urban Dictionary, this is another way to say “cool” and “awesome.” You are correct if you think you’ve heard this one before. Gretchen Weener from “Mean Girls” used it extensively during the movie. For example: 

Your skirt is fetch! 

I can’t believe you guys are dating. This is so fetch!

  • Peeps. 

As you probably noticed, people liked to shorten words in the 2000s. And this is another example – peeps is the short form of the word people. For example: 

I don’t like this mall. There are a lot of peeps out there. 

Yo, peeps. What’s up? 

  • Creps. 

Now take a second and try to guess the meaning of this word. No idea? We are not surprised. This word means sneakers, and we have no clue why. But back then, it was very popular. For example: 

Look at my fresh creps! They are sick. 

Do you mind going to the mall with me? I need new creps. 

  • Chav. 

If you are still unsure about the impact of 00s slang, just know that this term is now listed in the Oxford Dictionary. This word is rather offensive, and it describes a person whose behavior and appearance show their lack of education and low social class. It has started a new trend on TikTok with the song “M to the B” by Milly B. For example: 

Don’t do your makeup like that. You look like a chav. 

Have you seen that chav?

2000’s slang we’ve used on the Internet

The words and terms mentioned above were mostly used in offline conversations. But since the 00s were the time of the beginning of the Internet, social networks, and the first messengers, a lot of slang expressions were used only online. And there were so many that we devoted a whole section to them. 

  • PC4PC? Now we ask our friends to like our Instagram photos. Back in the 00s, we asked them to comment on our MySpace profile pictures. This phrase was used to offer an exchange – comment for comment. 
  • LYLAS. Another popular abbreviation for the 2000s phrases. And even though now it’s kinda cringe, back then, it was extremely cool. The meaning is simple – it means “love you like a sister.”
  • AnYtHiNg TyPeD LiKe ThIs. Again, no idea why we’ve done this, but we need to just accept it like that. Everyone, at some point of their lives, sends a message using both capital and small letters. 
  • Bbz. There were a lot of abbreviations in the messages, and this one is no exception. It is a short form of the word “babes,” and that is what we’ve called our closest friends. 
  • LOL. This one is still popular among millennials (and even zoomers sometimes). It is a short form of the phrase “laughing out loud.”

These are only a few examples of the 00s slang terms that were popular online. Actually, most are still popular, so you can see them regularly over the Internet. And if we forgot to mention something cool, don’t be shy, and write some of your favorite 00s Internet terms in the comments section!


Best expressions and catchy phrases from the 2000s

In addition to slang terms, there were a lot of popular sayings and catchphrases that appeared in the 2000s. And some of the most exciting ones are mentioned below, so don’t hesitate to check them out. 

  • Whatever McDonald’s worker. 

While “whatever” was most popular in the 90s, in the 2000s, this phrase has been slightly improved. You can use it to show that you are not interested in the conversation anymore. This phrase is usually accompanied by a hand gesture (it was the letter W made from your fingers in the 90s, and in the 2000s, it was W turned upside down to M and back up to the W). For example:

X: I don’t like your dress. 

Y: Whatever McDonald’s worker. 

  • Take a chill pill. 

The 00s were the period of Paris Hilton and Mean Girls, and everyone was trying to be a little nasty then. This passive-aggressive phrase was used to tell someone to chill and relax, especially if the person was really annoying. For example:

X: I can’t believe you didn’t tell me about that!

Y: C’mon dude, take a chill pill. It is not that big of a deal.

  • Fo Shizzle My Nizzle. 

Shout out to all Snoop Dog fans! If you know this dude, you’ve probably heard this expression before. Its meaning is simple – “fo shizzle” is somehow “for sure,” and “my nizzle” is somehow “my friend.” You can use both parts of the expression together or separately (except, please, don’t). For example:

X: Wanna go out tonight?

Y: Fo shizzle. 

  • Talk to the hand. 

Another popular saying in the 00s that was a part of another popular expression, “talk to the hand ‘cuz the face ain’t listening.” It also means that you don’t care about what someone is trying to say to you, and the phrase is also accompanied by a hand gesture. For example: 

X: I told you not to go there! 

Y: Yeah, talk to the hand. 

  • That’s what she said. 

This is a joke phrase that is used to add dirty context to something innocent and casual. Mainly, people in the 00s used it (and use it today) when someone says things that can be said in the bedroom (even without this context). If you enjoy the Office as much as we do, you know that Michael Scott is the character who extremely liked it. For example: 

X: I can’t do it anymore, it is too hard. 

Y: That’s what she said. 

X: Oh, stop it, please!

Y: That’s what she said!!!

  • Waz crackin’. 

We know that this one looks terrifying, but don’t worry. The phrase's meaning is simple – just a cool way to say, “What’s up?” For example:

X: Yo, Jack.

Y: Hey, Joe. Waz crackin’?

  • You got served. 

This phrase is used when someone proves they are better than someone else. It’s like serving a person with their busted ego on a silver platter. For example:

X: I can’t believe what you’ve just done. 

Y: Boom, biatch. You got served. 

Bonus! Best 2000s movies and TV shows that will help you master popular slang

Congratulations! Now you know enough of the early 2000s sayings and slang terms to become cooler than anyone you know. But since they are not as common now as they were then, you need to use some material to reinforce this knowledge. And the best way to do so is to watch some movies and TV shows that were well-liked in the 00s. 

According to The Numbers, the most popular genres people liked in the 00s were drama, comedy, and adventure. Most such films are still in demand nowadays, especially among English learners. This is due to the simple vocabulary and the variety of slang terms that are easy to understand, even for those who are not fluent in English. So, what to watch to learn the 00s slang?

Mean Girls (2004)

Teen movies are probably the best way to immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the 2000s and learn slang, popular expressions, and the lifestyle of the youth. And Mean Girls is a legendary film that is still popular and probably will be favored years later. Did you know that some people still celebrate Mean Girls Day every October? Yeah, that is how impressive this movie is. 

Why is it worth watching if you are studying English? Firstly, since the movie was created for teenagers, it has a simple vocabulary and a lot of slang terms that were popular twenty years ago. In addition to it, the film is easy to watch, so you won’t get bored. And don’t forget about the star cast – Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, and Amanda Seyfried are only a few of the many celebrities you can see on the screen. 

Freaky Friday (2003)

It is another popular teenage comedy movie full of 00s slang terms and expressions. The story of a rebellious daughter (Lindsay Lohan) and strict mother (Jamie Lee Curtis) that have switched bodies due to an ancient spell. They have not only to adapt to their new reality but also find a way to turn back to their bodies, encountering various challenges like a mum’s wedding rehearsal or a daughter’s rock concert. 

Even though the movie is iconic, it also provides a lot of benefits for those who are studying English. Like most of the films in this genre, it also contains countless slang expressions and simple phrases that you can easily understand. And it is extremely fun, so if you want not only to learn something new but also have a good time, this movie is a perfect choice. 

The Departed (2006)

Let's move a little away from teenage comedies and talk about another popular genre, crime drama. The Departed, shot in 2006 by Martin Scorsese, is one of the director’s most legendary works. It tells the story of two young people whose real lives are radically different from what they demonstrate to the public. The main characters in the film were played by Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Mark Wahlberg, and Jack Nicholson.

Since the film's plot tells about the mafia leader and his relationship with the police, the main characters often use slang in their speech. However, we would recommend it only for those who speak English at the level of B2 and above – the vocabulary in the movie is quite complex and not always understandable. But if you are fluent in English, this film will be a great accomplice to studying the slang of the 00s.

The Princess Diaries (2001)

And now we are back to the teenage movies. This is one of our personal favorites since we really like Ann Hathaway. The story of the teen girl who has unexpectedly become a princess of the whole country will not leave you untouched. 

Even though the story is about a princess, you won’t see a lot of polite words in it. Well, not in the first part, at least. Ann plays a regular teenager, and as we all know, teenagers like to use a lot of slang words. That is why this movie is great for learning the 00s slang – it is simple, fun, and really exciting.

Zoolander (2001)

Of course, we couldn’t forget about this iconic 00s movie. It has become a viral trend on TikTok recently, and we’ve realized how great it is for English learners. This story of male model Derek Zoolander and his adventures is not only hilarious but also full of simple language and slang terms understandable even for those who are not fluent in English.

The Office

And now, it’s time to discuss legendary TV series released in the 00s but that remain popular today. The Office (American version) is probably the most iconic show we can recommend. The story takes place in the office of Dunder Mifflin, a small paper company based in Scranton, Pennsylvania. The main character and boss of the company, Michael Scott (we’ve already mentioned him in this article), is known for his humor and sometimes foolish actions that usually distract other workers.

The best thing about this TV show is that it is extremely simple and entertaining – you can rewatch it countless times and you will never get bored. Yet, it is also great for studying English – the lines are simple, and the American accent of the actors allows you to understand almost everything easily. And since it was filmed in the 00s, you can find numerous slang phrases and words almost in every episode.

The Big Bang Theory

Even the name of this show has a slang expression, so can you imagine how many of them are in the episodes? The Big Bang Theory is an outstanding TV show that was first released in 2007. The story of two physicians, Leonard and Sheldon, attracts your attention from the first episode. It is not only hilarious but also educational – we’ve learned a lot of scientific stuff while watching.

Even though the main characters are nerds, there is one person who can teach you a lot of the 00s slang. And yes, we are talking about Penny, Sheldon’s and Leonard’s neighbor and friend. She knows everything about fashion and trends and, of course, uses countless slang terms in her speech.


Friends is a unique show. It was released in 1994, and the first six seasons took place in the 90s. But after entering the new decade, characters were using a lot of popular 00s slang expressions, so the last three or even four seasons perfectly suit our today's topic. This TV show is exciting and entertaining, and it is easy to watch and understand – even if you have the B1 proficiency level, you can already start watching it.

The story of Ross, Rachel, Monica, Chandler, Phoebe, and Joey is legendary. Six friends live in New York and spend almost every day together. You will see hundreds of hilarious episodes, and you will definitely fall in love with every character. Since this show was broadcasted in over a hundred countries, you’ve probably seen it at least once in your native language. Therefore, it will be much easier for you to understand the episodes, even if you don’t know English well yet.

How to learn the 2000s slang words with Promova?

Slang terms and expressions, especially from the 00s, are exciting and fun, but learning them all can be challenging for inexperienced students. Some popular words have hard pronunciation, others are used only in a particular context. So how can you not only remember them but also understand how to use them without making mistakes? Don’t worry about it anymore. We have a perfect solution for you. 

Promova is an outstanding online language-learning platform available for people from all over the world. It provides students with different options according to their needs. The platform has plenty of benefits that set it apart from its competitors. Here are only a few of them.

  1. Professional tutors. You can join personal or group lessons, but one thing will remain the same: our teachers' professionalism. They will be happy to prepare a course based on your level of language proficiency and will easily help you learn the topics you are most interested in.
  2. Friendly atmosphere. You don’t have to be afraid of being judged – we are always here to help you. Our tutors create a friendly atmosphere during their lessons, so you can relax and have fun while learning something new. Moreover, you can make many friends since Promova is an international platform available for people from different cities and countries. 
  3. Free mobile application. Another great feature for those who prefer studying alone. The Promova app is available for different iOS and Android gadgets. Therefore, you can easily access hundreds of unique lessons and study anywhere and anytime you want. And the best part is that the application is free – all you need to do is to install it on your phone and enjoy! 

Of course, it is not all you can expect here. But we are not going to share all the exciting details! Go to the official Promova website right now, pass the quick test to determine your proficiency level, and see what options are the most suitable for you. And if you try them now, you will be surprised at how quickly you will see the first results.


Unfortunately, time travel is not available for us yet. But we can always feel the atmosphere of the past by watching movies, listening to songs, or using expressions that were popular back then. Even though most of the widespread 00s words and expressions are considered cringy today, it is always nice to remember what we used to say. We hope that you’ve liked this throwback and that we were able to remind you about something pleasant and exciting. And please share your favorite catchphrases from the 2000s – we are thrilled to learn something new from you.


What are the most popular 2000s slang phrases?

Y2K was full of amazing slang terms and phrases. The most popular words in the 00s were chillax (chill+relax), fetch (cool), buff (attractive, fit, and good-looking guy), peeps (people), and ‘rents (parents). The most widespread 00s phrases are to take a chill pill (passive-aggressive way of saying calm down), talk to the hand (‘cuz face ain’t listening), and that’s what she said.

What are the best movies to learn the early 2000s slang?

Literally, any teen comedy, comedy, TV show, or crime drama. Our personal favorite movies are Mean Girls, Freaky Friday, Princess Diaries, The Departed, 17 Again, and White Chicks. As for TV series, we highly recommend watching Friends, Sex and the City, How I met your mother, The Big Bang Theory, and The Office.

What does the phrase “that’s what she said” mean?

This phrase is often used as a joking answer to the interlocutor's previous line, which sounds ambiguous and has sexual overtones (most likely unintentional). In most cases, such a phrase is appropriate as a response to the sentences that your girlfriend could say in bed. For example, “Wow, it’s so hard.” That’s what she said!!!

How to easily learn English slang from the 2000s?

The best way to master English slang from the 00s is to understand its context. To achieve this, you can watch popular movies and TV shows or listen to songs. Another great option is to check the Urban Dictionary – it contains millions of slang terms, and plenty of them were added there in the 00s. And if you need help, you can always find a modern English-studying platform like Promova. Experienced tutors will be happy to help you not only learn basic language rules but also remember slang terms and expressions.


Lily RichardsonDec 12th, 2023
cool 😎
PromovaJul 18th, 2023
Great question! Learners can practice and reinforce vocabulary from the early 2000s by actively using it in conversations, writing exercises, or even by exploring media and entertainment content from that time period.
Kynlee Jul 18th, 2023
Hello!How can learners practice and reinforce vocabulary from the early 2000s in their everyday English language use?