It appears we cannot stop talking about the meaning of Tinder until every national publication has written a multi-thousand-word story on the subject. But, if we have to keep discussing how phones are destroying our ability to love, at least Nancy Jo Sales’s huge Vanity Fair piece offers a colorful vocabulary. Some of these words may be unfamiliar to those who don’t use Tinder, some belong exclusively to people under 25, and several phrases might not actually be used by living humans. Regardless, here’s a glossary to use while you read the article and ruminate over the “Dating Apocalypse” (See below):
1 a.m. text: A text that arrives well after the socially acceptable hour. It signifies a request for no-strings booty.
Boom-boom-boom, swipe: An onomatopoeic description of quick, callous movement through Tinder profiles.
Dad bod: Don’t make us say it.
Dating apocalypse: The phrase describes the effects ass-on-demand apps have had on our once-normal, thriving mating landscape. Now daters wander a dry, destitute wasteland looking for anything resembling humanity, kind of like Mad Max — or this scene: “The tables are filled with young women and men who’ve been chasing money and deals on Wall Street all day, and now they’re out looking for hookups. Everyone is drinking, peering into their screens and swiping on the faces of strangers they may have sex with later that evening.”
Emotional intimacy: When people connect on a mutually respectful, supportive, emotional level. (???)
Fuckboy (alternate spelling: fuckboi): “A young man who sleeps with women without any intention of having a relationship with them or perhaps even walking them to the door post-sex. He’s a womanizer, an especially callous one, as well as kind of a loser. The word has been around for at least a decade with different meanings; it’s only in about the last year that it has become so frequently used by women and girls to refer to their hookups.”
Pussy affluenza: The word affluenza is a portmanteau of affluence and influenza. It’s the psychological malaise (lack of motivation, guilt, loneliness) that arises from access to a glut of resources — in this case, pussy.
Text game: “The ability to actually convince someone to do something over text.”
Tinder food stamps: A savvy use of dating apps solely to line up dinner-dates to get a free meal.
Tinder king: “A young man of such deft ‘text game’ … that he is able to entice young women into his bed on the basis of a few text exchanges, while letting them know up front he is not interested in having a relationship.”