Internet Web Culture

Kill It With Fire: 10 Internet Expressions That Need To Die [Weird & Wonderful Web]

Dave Parrack 27-04-2014

Languages are forever evolving. They have changed a great deal over the last few centuries, as anyone who has ever read classic literature will know. And they’re still changing now, as the emergence of txt spk and suchlike demonstrates.


Some new words and phrases Those Crazy Web Words And Phrases Explained There have been more new words invented in the last decade than ever all thanks to this new fangled "internet" thing. It's easy to see how us old folks - and by old I mean... Read More are readily accepted into common parlance Don't Poke Me! How Internet Slang Words Have Transformed Language It's amazing to see how Internet words are having such a tremendous impact on the English language. Let's go back in time and observe just how many have infiltrated the English language Read More , added to dictionaries and crossing over into the mainstream. Others remain confined to the Internet, where they are often overused to the point that they need to die. Preferably, and appropriately, killed with fire.


What It Means:Ermahgerd” is a stylized form of “Oh My God,” supposedly uttered by someone with a speech impediment caused by them wearing a retainer.

Why It Needs To Die: It has been overused, it is obviously offensive to people with real speech impediments, and it could be used to mock teenagers wearing retainers. In fact, it probably already has been used in such a way.

Associated Words: OMG, Gersberms, and Berks.


What It Means:Derp” is essentially another way of saying “Duh.” Normally used in response to someone doing or saying something stupid. Often accompanied by pulling a funny face.


Why It Needs To Die: It borders on being offensive to people with learning difficulties. And “duh,” which is an altogether more natural utterance, was doing a fine job well before “derp” arrived on the scene.

Associated Words: Derpy, HerpDerp, and Dumb.



What It Means:FTW!” is the shortened form of “For The Win!,” which is used to express excitement or enthusiasm over something. The exclamation mark is optional but desirable, with a few too many suggesting sarcasm; sarcasm FTW!!!!


Why It Needs To Die: It’s been used so often it’s lost any meaning it may once have had. Additionally, “FTW” can also mean “F**k The World,” and, as this latter meaning came first, if one has to die then it should be the Internet form of the expression.

Associated Words: For The Win! and Winning.


What It Means:N00b” means “newbie,” or someone who is new to an activity. It’s usually only uttered when someone does something which shows up their inexperience, either in a video game or elsewhere online.

Why It Needs To Die: This is probably the most overused word on this list, and it’s broken free of its online origins and entered mainstream consciousness. If used seriously, it’s a rather cruel name to call someone who really shouldn’t be expected to yet know what they’re doing.


Associated Words: L33t and N00bish


What It Means:ROFLcopter” is a l33t version of ROFL. Often used to mock someone who constantly rolls on the floor laughing. Which, as we all know, is something no one has ever done in real life.

Why It Needs To Die: Because it’s stupid, quite frankly. LOL makes sense, ROFL is OK at a push, but “ROFLcopter” is only something uttered by people prone to derping.

Associated Words: Lollerskates, lollercoaster, and LMAOplanes.



What It Means:FAIL” is a single-word, shorthand description used to specify any kind of failure. Trying to jump over a stream and end up in the water? FAIL. Thinking you can sing before being laughed at while doing karaoke? FAIL.

Why It Needs To Die: As you may have guessed by now, this is another term that we feel is overused to the nth degree. It’s also often used inappropriately, or repeated so often it loses any of its potential meaning.

Associated Words: Epic Fail and NOOb.


What It Means:Amazeballs” is used to refer to something that’s beyond amazing. Because amazing just isn’t enough these days. “Amaze” and “balls” are both perfectly good words when used individually, but they fit together about as well as fish and ice cream.

Why It Needs To Die: Because it was popularized by Perez Hilton and is stupid. Need I say more? The only time it’s ever appropriate to use “amazeballs” in a sentence is when you’re using it ironically. But it’s a dangerous game to play.

Associated Words: Swag and Totes, the latter of which means “totally” and is often used in conjunction with amazeballs.



What It Means:Kthxbai” is a douchey way of wrapping up a conversation quickly. It is, if you weren’t already aware, “OK,” “thank you,” and “goodbye” delivered in such quick succession they stop making sense.

Why It Needs To Die: Because it’s completely surplus to requirements. Ask a question and it will be answered. Make a statement and it will be heard. Neither requires the addition of “Kthxbai.

Associated Words: OK and Kthnxdie.


What It Means:Pwned” simply means “Owned.” Yes, this expression is nothing but a good, honest, hard-working word ever-so-slightly misspelled. You have owned several pairs of pants in your time, but you have only been pwned if someone gave you a wedgie whilst you were wearing them.

Why It Needs To Die: Owned is a perfectly good word that didn’t deserve to be messed with. So please, let’s just leave it well alone. Or should that be apone.

Associated Words: Pwn, Pwnage, and Pwnt.


What It Means:FML” is the acronym for “F**k My Life.” It’s usually uttered at the end of a sentence spouted from the melodramatic mouth of an entitled teenager who doesn’t know how lucky they are.

Why It Needs To Die: If people who genuinely had crap lives were using this expression on a regular basis then it wouldn’t be a problem. Instead, it’s used by youngsters for whom life is generally pretty good.

Associated Words: MLIA, meaning “My Life Is Average.


You may be wondering who I am to demand these expressions die. And you’d be right to think that way, as I am merely a lover of the English language Why Typos Always Matter, Even Online & In Text Messages [Opinion] We all make mistakes from time to time. It's natural, a part of life, a learning curve which we use to better ourselves. Typos are no exception. They happen often, and if writing forms a... Read More . Nothing more, nothing less.

I’m certainly not against the nurturing of new words and phrases, but I am an advocate for us, as a collective, weeding out those that have overstayed their welcome and hurrying their descent to the grave.

Are you bunch of n00bs with me? If so, then that’s totes amazeballs. Otherwise, this has all been an epic fail. FML. Kthxbai.

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  1. Crazie Flawed N
    May 22, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    Dude get off of ya damn feels! Then to have the audacity to try and play off your own personal issues as concern for learning disabled, etc. GTFOH

  2. dew
    May 6, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    Headlines emulating Dorothy's quote:
    Lions, tigers, and bears - oh my!

  3. Leah
    April 29, 2014 at 9:56 pm

    I don't see anything wrong with the word Noob. There was a time when it was overly used, the hot new word, but now its got its place in vocabulary. You have to be able to call the new guy who has no clue what he's doing a noob. Newbie refers to the new guy. Noob refers to the new guy who has no clue what he's doing or an old person acting like they're new.

  4. KT
    April 29, 2014 at 2:45 am

    On the other end of the spectrum, in order to keep flame wars to a minimum, there should be a [sarc] key on all new keyboards.

    fail and win seem to be over used the most IMO. LOL! [SARC]

    • Hellwyck
      February 16, 2017 at 4:28 pm

      We've had emoticons for this for decades:

      ;-) = a knowing wink
      :-P = playful poking out tongue
      :-) = a grin

  5. smallcoder
    April 28, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    But please.... can we keep "Kill it! Kill it with Fire!!!" as it is so useful in so many contexts e.g. spiders and other hideous things.

  6. The Dude
    April 28, 2014 at 6:18 pm

    FTW can also mean Forever Truly White.

  7. Joe Schmo
    April 28, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    " [Newbie] This is probably the most overused word on this list, and it’s broken free of its online origins and entered mainstream consciousness."

    You've got it backwards. It's been around since at least the 1960s in the military.

    • Dave P
      April 28, 2014 at 3:08 pm

      I stand corrected. But I doubt it was spelled n00b back in the 1960s, and that's the expression we're calling to be culled.

  8. Dave P
    April 28, 2014 at 10:58 am

    You reasoning is flawed because:

    1. Lists are a thing rather than an expression, so wouldn't fit on this list.
    2. Lists are awesomesauce and amazeballs.

  9. Nonplussed
    April 27, 2014 at 10:52 pm

    Some of these started on IRC. It's shorthand for the many cliché's that are tiresome to re-type. They are largely employed by people who like to appear cool and geeky - i.e. the Facebook masses.

    • Dave P
      April 28, 2014 at 10:56 am

      I suspect the Facebook masses wouldn't know what IRC was/is if it bit them on the bum. If a new expression is the best way of saying something then it's all good. But these seem unnecessary.

  10. Ant
    April 27, 2014 at 8:34 pm

    What about w00t/woot, gay, kk, wtf, etc.? :P

    • Dave P
      April 28, 2014 at 10:55 am

      I hate w00t so that could make a future list. Gay as a pronouncement of something being slightly stupid is an interesting one. The meaning of the word has already changed once, from meaning happy to meaning homosexual, so it's likely to change again.

  11. Hermgirl
    April 27, 2014 at 7:21 pm

    I dunno, would you get rid of all casual forms of speaking? A lot of the time, these are found on casual social networking sites.

    Also, as far as the word "derp" goes, I think that evolved as a *replacement* for the much less PC "retarded" and related words. Are we not supposed to have any fun ways to call something dumb?

    • Dave P
      April 28, 2014 at 10:38 am

      Not all of them, but the more stupid words and expressions, yes.

      I guess you have a point. But you wouldn't call someone a derp for having educational needs. You may say they derped when they get something wrong, but that's different.

  12. Dann A
    April 27, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    Having spent the last four years of my life studying linguistics, I think about these kinds of things all the time. In linguistics, we talk about being "descriptive" instead of "prescriptive," but I definitely think there are some words that should be obliterated. I thought amazeballs was a pretty goofy one, but I didn't know that Perez Hilton brought that one into existence (or at least popularity). I can't stand that guy. That word is now #1 on my to-be-destroyed list. Unless they start allowing it in Words with Friends. Then it'll be awesome.

    • Dave P
      April 28, 2014 at 10:35 am

      No, get it right, if they allow it in Words with Friends it will be awesomesauce. Or even amazeballs itself!

    • Dann A
      April 28, 2014 at 1:28 pm

      Maybe it would even be amazesauce! Or awesomeballs!

      Also, am I the only one who finds the featured image on this article absolutely terrifying?

  13. Caroline W
    April 27, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    I hadn't heard of 80% of these! Hope that says something good about me! I dislike using'lol' but sometimes there isn't any other way to avoid it to make a quick point. The only other one I might use is'newbie' ,I don't find it offensive but have never used 'noob' as a shortener. 'OMG' is another I dislike, but same as 'lol' it can be convenient.

    • Dave P
      April 28, 2014 at 10:34 am

      LOL isn't going anywhere soon. As you say, as annoying as it is, it does have its uses. Well done on not using most of these expressions :)

  14. ell oh ell
    April 27, 2014 at 5:13 pm


    • Dave P
      April 28, 2014 at 10:33 am


    • Peter E
      April 28, 2014 at 7:44 pm

      go QQ moar!

  15. Lou
    April 27, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    VIRAL - used way too much.

  16. R A Myers
    April 27, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    Thank goodness I've none of these expressions to unlearn. There is an advantage to being A Luddite Flat Earth Society member.

    • Dave P
      April 28, 2014 at 10:33 am

      So, really all I've done here is introduce these terrible expressions to you?! Damn and blast :)

  17. willc
    April 27, 2014 at 11:46 am

    First, what you are describing is the Language of the Internet: an entirely unique dialect that has "evolved" from the collective hive mind. Psychologically, sociologically, and even linguistically, this is really a fascinating phenomenon that has never happened before in the entirety of human existence.

    Second, no list like this is complete without: "Just sayin," and, "Wow. Just. Wow."

    • Saikat B
      April 27, 2014 at 12:31 pm

      Language has always evolved like that. It's just that the Internet is such a massive widespread platform :)

      Every year, OED adds a few and these then become "official". You can win games with them in Scrabble and Words With Friends ;)

    • Dave P
      April 28, 2014 at 10:32 am

      No arguments here that these are expressions that belong to the Language of the Internet. I'd still like to see them go the way of the dodo though.

      "Wow. Just wow." is a good shout. I'd put that in the same category as "... seriously," and "you won't believe what happened next." Perhaps a second article is warranted!

  18. alka
    April 27, 2014 at 10:32 am

    nice article

  19. Peter E
    April 27, 2014 at 7:48 am

    I liked the sign off at the end of the conclusion :D

    • Dave P
      April 28, 2014 at 10:30 am

      Thanks for noticing it, and reading all the way to the end! :)

  20. John C
    April 27, 2014 at 5:50 am

    Ha, I agree with most of these. All except maybe FTW, I don't find it all too bad, though I wouldn't complain if it was erased from existence. Another one that bothers me is awesomesauce... Just, no.
    Sadly, this is the way it is now and we all have to deal with it, but I'll be damned if anyone is gonna get me using any lol.

    • Dave P
      April 28, 2014 at 10:29 am

      "Awesomesauce" is a great shout! That should have been listed alongside amazeballs.

  21. Grimmtooth
    April 27, 2014 at 1:36 am

    I can't hear you over the oompah band playing on your cotillion. Try shifting the monocle to the other eye and set the time machine to "2001" if it can't get all the way to 2014.

    • Dave P
      April 28, 2014 at 10:28 am

      I think you'll find most of these have only emerged in the last few years, so I don't quite understand where you're coming from.

  22. Esteban
    April 27, 2014 at 1:19 am

    Well... We can't stop languages from evolving. Or devolving.

    I'm willing to bet someone else's money that all of this came from 'Merica.

    • Dave P
      April 28, 2014 at 10:27 am

      You could be right, I could be wasting my time wishing these away :(

    • Amazeballs
      May 24, 2014 at 8:58 pm

      Lots of other linguistic communities have their own acronyms and shorthand, as well.
      Yeah, this is an American[and other English-speaking people]-centric article, but I'm sure you could make articles like this for other countries and languages as well.