OK, moms, let’s get in formation. We need to crack a secret language code of tweens that is driving some of us absolutely crazy. No, not “sksksk”. And no, it’s not “and I oop”. We already covered VSCO Girls, Janet. I’m talking about the word, ‘yeet’. WHAT THE HELL DOES YEET MEAN?
The first time I encountered this bizarre word was when my kid screeched it in the car in response to something his brother mumbled at him. Confused, I looked through the rearview mirror and said, “Did you just say ‘yeet’? What is that?”
I was greeted with an eye roll. We are definitely in pre-teen territory and no one can make any sudden movements or – God forbid – ask any questions. So, I asked the internet. Here is what I learned. No one really knows what yeet means. According to Urban Dictionary, the top definition (OMG there are so many):
“Alex finishes his soda and proceeds to yeet the empty can into a trash bin.”
Yeeting means throwing things. But it also apparently means an expression of excitement or happiness or nervousness. But you don’t always say yeet, in fact, you have it use it correctly because yeet is a verb, a noun, and a source of unending frustration for moms everywhere.
According to Urban Dictionary, Yeet can be expressed in the following tenses:
(Present) I yeet
(Past/Imperfect) I was yeeting
(Past/Perfect) I yote
(Pluperfect) I have yought
(Future) I will yeet
(Future perfect) I will have yought
But in what situations does one say yeet and it makes sense? None, if you’re a mom, according to my tween son. But Urban Dictionary disagrees, they suggest the following hilarious examples of how to use yeet in order to shed some light on this most vexing word.
Dude1: Aw man it’s the last track meet! I’m so pumped! I’m just gonna YEET down that track!
Dude2: Geez I’m nervous. I hope I don’t screw this up…
Dude1: You just gotta get into the feel of it dude! Just get that yeet flowing!
Dude2: Yeah… you’re right! yeet… YEET!
The dude from Ex. 1 just won his race,
Curiously, though, Urban Dictionary points out the word yeet has actually been around for centuries. Sort of. The idea that people needed a word to express the energy infused with emotion behind a situation is not new. We have curse words for that, obviously. But Urban Dictionary points out that “to yeet is to give your full power and soul to an action you’re doing” and they give the famous example of the Berserker Warriors as proof. These legendary Norse warriors who lived as far back as 100 AD (and maybe even earlier) were said to be so invested in their mission to fight that they appeared to be in a “trance-like fury” as they fought. This made them so famous we now have the word berserk to describe someone going crazy. But the feeling behind that action is apparently what yeet is all about.
So, to recap, yeet is a word that emphasizes excitement, nervousness, and which annoys parents everywhere. There is no wrong way to use it unless you’re 40 and asking your tween what the hell ‘yeet’ means. In that instance, you’re using yeet way wrong. But jokes on my kid because I think I’ve cracked this code and now I’m going yeet my way to the grocery store while scream-singing Beyoncé the way a cool, badass mom does.