A Glossary for Social Media

List of new words

New words for a new context

The English language is constantly evolving; you might even be contributing to this change just by using social media! We would like to share some new words and verbs with you, some that may not even appear in the dictionaries yet, but they are very much visible online. So, enjoy the post we have prepared you for, feel free to retweet it or share it with any of your friends!

Known as “Verbing” turning a noun into a verb has been common practice for years but thanks to social media, the 21st century has itself created some peculiar new words, and with everyone using them on online platforms many have spread like wildfire!

Google – this means to search for something online, not necessarily on Google but it is used to refer to any and all search engine pursuits.

  • How many km is London from Birmingham? I don’t know, why don’t you google it?
  • I know how high Everest is, I googled it yesterday.

Tweet – this verb comes from the social network, Twitter, that allows users to share 140-character updates with their followers, these updates are called tweets. The person who tweets is known as a tweeter.

Retweet – when a twitter user shares something a tweeter has tweeted.

  • Did you see Mr. X’s tweet yesterday? / Did you see what Mr. X tweeted yesterday?
  • I did, I retweeted it right way.

Instragram – a photo sharing application that lets users take photos, apply filters to their images, and share the photos instantly on the Instagram network. The person who has an Instagram account, especially with large followings, is called an Instagrammer or Instagram Influencer.

Do a story – when you share some pictures or ideas on the ‘Instagram Story’ option.

  • The influencer did a story about what had been posted about her on the gossip website.

Postdo a post – when you upload content to a blog or Instagram account, you post it. You can also post an update on social media.

  • I´m going to do a post about new verbs in social media.
  • I will post it when I´ve finished.

Regram – When you chose the option on Instagram to share what someone else has posted so that it then appears on your page.

  • The poem María shared was so meaningful I regrammed it.

PM / DM – Private message or direct message, usually used on Instagram.

  • I sent her a pm/dm about the dress code for the party.


  • iMessage – I iMessaged her to ask her to come to the party.
  • Facebook messageI Facebook messaged her to ask her to bring some wine.

Whatsapp I Whatsapped her to tell her the party was cancelled.

Stream – this means listening to music or watching video in ‘real time’, instead of downloading a file to your computer and watching it later. With internet videos and webcasts of live events, there is no file to download, just a continuous stream of data.

  • Have you seen the new series they have started streaming on Netflix?

To friend – to add someone on social media. Originally coined by Facebook, friending has quickly spread to many other social media platforms as well. 

  • It was so nice to meet you; you should friend me on Facebook and we can stay in touch.

To Unfriend – remove someone from a list of friends or contacts on a social networking website.

  • I really don’t like how he speaks to me online, so I unfriended him.

Block – this is stop someone of every having the possibility of contacting you on a social media platform. 

  • That company wouldn’t stop contacting me so I blocked them. Now they can’t contact me.

To trend / trending topic – A trending topic is often something that is hot news/conversation within the general public. Something that everyone is talking about, and everyone is sharing their views on is trending.

It is most likely you will have heard the phrase ‘trending’ through Twitter, as this is where the verb is predominantly used in this context.

  • The popstar couldn’t believe that her relationship with the rockstar was trending on Twitter.

Troll – a person who provokes or aggravates others online by making offensive or irrelevant comments, in an attempt to evoke an emotional response. It is also a verb, to troll someone.

  • That person has been trolling me for a long time, I don’t understand the satisfaction they get from that.

To go viral – an image, video, or link that spreads rapidly through a population by being frequently shared with a number of individuals.

  • The home video of the Instagrammer recording his father singing went viral.
Vocabulary about Social Media

This list, which could be endless, only includes some of the new words and verbs which the web and social media sites are providing us with every day. As we well know, the evolution of technology is unstoppable: New online platforms, new technical terms, new methodologies, new virtual contexts…

If you don’t want to be left behind, why not take a look at our course ICT for Teaching where you will learn to make the most of the tools available to teachers and make your classroom a more engaging and creative space.