10 Dating Slang Terms You Need to Know

This couple is clearly in the midst of a classic "cuffing season" move.
This couple is clearly in the midst of a classic "cuffing season" move.
Flickr / Geraint Rowland

For as long as people have been dating, there's been slang created about dating and relationships. Considering that slang changes at the speed of social media, we thought it was due time to issue a refresher on some of today's dating terms.

You probably know some of these, but there's a good chance you don't know all of them. Here are 10 of our favorite dating slang terms that you might not know so well.

See also: 10 Benefits of Breaking Up

10. Bae

Yeah, we started you off with a softball. If you don't know what "bae" means by the end of 2014, you're probably in for a learning experience with the rest of this list. Simply put, "bae" is a pet name for your significant other. It's a shorter version of "babe," if you hadn't figured that out yet. It can also be used to describe someone you think would be a good significant other, even if you've never met them. Most people don't realize this, but it's also the Danish word for feces. Kind of fitting, when you think about it.

9. Cuffing Season

So, it turns out there's not much scientific evidence behind "Cuffing Season," but we find it hard to argue against it based on our own experiences. During the spring and summer, people want to go out and have flings with random people or take extravagant vacations with their friends. Then late fall rolls around and two things happen: Starbucks starts rolling out the red cups, and people start getting into relationships. "Cuffing Season" is that period of time between Halloween and Valentine's Day when everyone seems to be in a relationship, particularly if you're single. Maybe it's because the cold makes people want to cuddle on the couch, or maybe it's the holiday spirit that brings romance around. The bottom line is, an awful lot of those couples are going to be on their own sucking face with strangers at pool parties six months later.

8. Jelly

When it's not being used as a delicious complement to peanut butter, "jelly" is a slightly obnoxious way of saying "jealous." It's way more fun to send a photo of a single size packet of jelly to an envious friend/romantic interest than we'd like to admit, but we don't recommend using "jelly" in a serious situation. We've never tried it, but it seems like the type of word that could escalate an argument extremely quickly. Don't say we didn't warn you.


The quickest way to make sure someone knows they're getting the "slow fade."
The quickest way to make sure someone knows they're getting the "slow fade."
Flickr/Kei Noguchi

7. Tindering

You probably could've figured this one out on your own (assuming you know what Tinder is), but we feel like most people don't use the verb form a whole lot. We've embraced "Googling" and "Facebooking" as a society, so isn't it only appropriate that we give the dating/social media app its own verb too? "Being on Tinder" sounds so passive, like you're just existing on the app for others to swipe. "Tindering" seems much more action-based, for when you're actively swiping left and right across people's Facebook photos. It's like any slightly gross subject, the more you talk about it, the less weird it seems.

6. Slow Fade

For a long time, we thought this one had something to do with "catching a fade" (see: getting beat up), so we were a little confused when people told us about the guys/ladies they were "slow fading." As it turns out, a "slow fade" is just when someone gradually ceases communicating with a person who was interested in him/her. It's not exactly cutting someone off cold turkey, it's more of a gentle letdown where those text message responses drift further and further apart. We generally don't have a problem with telling someone to take a hike when we're no longer interested in them, but this seems like it'd be suited for all of those passive types out there.

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"That Ho Over There." The beauty of the acronym "THOT" is that it doesn't have to be any specific "hoe" or any specific place. It can be universally used and is completely inclusive. A "THOT" might be a random person you hooked up with, or it might just be someone you see on social media who you don't see as being proper dating material. An oversimplified way to look at it is, if you're not a "bae" to someone, then you might be a "THOT" to them.


Some "wifey material" qualities never go out of style.
Some "wifey material" qualities never go out of style.
Flickr / Marjan Lazarevski

4. Wifey/Hubby Material

This might be the most self-explanatory term on the list. If a woman has the qualities you'd look for in a spouse, she's "Wifey Material." If a man has the qualities you're looking to lock up long-term, he's "Hubby Material." Generally speaking, these terms are for things other than physical appearance. Sure, you probably have to be relatively attractive to be considered for "Wifey/Hubby Material," but this is more about the culinary abilities, kindness, financial stability, intelligence, and whatever else you might be looking for in a lifelong lover.

3. Thirst Trap

Most commonly used for a social media photo posted by a woman in which she seems to be unaware of the sexuality of the photo. A classic example of a "Thirst Trap" would be an attractive woman posting a photo of herself in nothing but lingerie and heels with the caption of "Loving these new shoes!" or a "Check out my new haircut!" photo that's 80 percent cleavage. Whether or not she's truly oblivious to the fact that nobody's focusing on her new Louboutins is unimportant, the point is that she'll probably end up with "thirsty" comments on the photo regardless of the intention.

2. Draking

Up until very recently, "Draking" was known as the act of wallowing in your sorrows caused by the opposite sex. Very recently, "Draking" has picked up a different meaning with certain groups of people, as the rapper has recently been rumored to sleep with women who are in relationships with other rappers (most notably, Chris Brown, twice). No matter which version of the verb you're using, it's not exactly something that you want to be associated with. Unless you're going around taping little Drake heads on to wheelchair logos, because that's just hilarious.

1. 143

Have you ever felt so strongly about a person that you couldn't even muster up the words to explain your love for them? Well then, "143" might be exactly what you want to use. "143" is an extremely short, weird, seemingly not-heartfelt way of saying "I love you" (the digits represent the number of letters in each word). We'd probably be a little offended if a significant other texted us "143" instead of "I love you," but considering that some people think "ily" is a necessary acronym, it's really not that much worse. Our favorite usage is in the form of a police code when someone says he/she loves you way before you thought it was appropriate, such as "After the second date, she went Code 143 on me."

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