Youth language is often creative, sometimes spicy, sometimes obvious and sometimes complicated. All of these descriptions probably apply to the youth word “smash”. But more on that later.
What is certain is that the word found its way into German usage a long time ago and is currently the hot favorite for the youth word of the year 2022.
A few weeks ago, Sprachverlag Langenscheidt called for this year’s youth word to be voted on.
The word “smash” is primarily used as a verb and, according to Langenscheidt, means something like “to start something with someone”. The description “to pick someone up” is also often used as a synonym for the youth word.
A look into the Twitter bubble, however, reveals that this flowery paraphrase is also used much more bluntly among young people. “Smash” as a noun is sometimes also used directly as a designation for the sexual act. A person you would like to experience the same thing with can also be called a “smash”.
The English verb “smash” means something like “smash”, “smash” or “break”. Fortunately, this meaning has nothing in common with the youth word used today (in the sense of love affairs).
Instead, the term developed from the dating game “smash or pass”, in which potential partners are classified as either “smash” (“smash hit”: huge success) or “pass” (“to pass”: move on, pass something on).
Especially in dating apps like Tinder, this principle is used in the sense of “Hot or not?”. Here, users are shown pictures of potential partners, which they can either select or wipe away with a swipe.
This question game is also practiced in various forums and on Twitter. A picture of a person with the text addition “Smash or Pass?” is posted. The community then answers how and for whom they would decide in this case.
Incidentally, the game is not only used when asking about potential sexual partners. Above all, photos of food and beautifully draped meals are often trotted out on social networks with the addition “Smash or Pass?”, giving terms such as “fresh meat” a rather bitter aftertaste.
The word “smash” is variable. It can be used as a verb in German when you would like to “smash” a person.
In addition, a person can also be a “smash” (noun) or simply “smash his” (adjective), if the other person likes them.
Furthermore, you can also do a small “Smash” (rivalry) with a “smashed” (chosen) “Smash” (partner). It’s complicated. And easy at the same time.
The youth word “smash” is pronounced English because of its origin.
In the International Phonetic Alphabet (“IPA” for short), “smash” would probably be transcribed and pronounced something like this: [smæʃ].