This popular slang term has a richer meaning and longer history than you might think
So, What Does Lit Mean?
Lit is most commonly used to describe someone or something as amazing or awesome.
It is frequently used in relation to parties and other events, meaning they are on fire and full of energy. Lit parties or events are wild, exciting and great fun. You can also use lit to describe the excitement or hype about an upcoming event.
You can apply lit in a much broader way too, by using it in reference to pretty much anyone or anything. You can do this when you want to describe how amazing or awesome someone or something is. Using it in this way gives a sense of both excitement and excellence.
When referring to someone as lit, you may also be describing them as drunk or stoned. This is the other widely used definition of the word.
There is an overlap between these two meanings and their usage. Lit parties or events will often generate their excitement with the help of alcohol and/or drugs. Many people at lit parties (first meaning) will themselves be lit (second meaning).
Lit forms part of a number of popular slang phrases, including:
1. Get lit, which means to get drunk or stoned.
2. It’s lit, which is usually used to describe a party or other event that is wild, exciting and great fun.
3. Lit af means that someone or something is extremely lit. AF stands for As Fuck, meaning extremely.
4. Lit fam is used to tell a close friend or a group of close friends (fam) that someone or something is lit.
Golden globes party was lit. Lady told me i look like Prince and i had to stop myself from licking her face.
*groupchat is lit af*
Me: hi guys
*Gets no response for an hour*.
[1st day as new school librarian]
STUDENT: is the great gatsby history or literature
MY BRAIN: dont say its lit dont say its lit
ME: its lit.
pokemon go was so lit for 2 weeks but now opening that app feels like trying on boot-cut jeans.
Dating a smart girl is lit until y’all get into an argument & she has a 10 page essay & PowerPoint explaining why she’s right & you’re wrong.
Since the early 20th century, lit has been used as slang for intoxicated. It derived from the original use of the word, meaning to be illuminated. Alcohol can of course make someone feel or look happy, which will often light up their face.
There are a number of early literary examples of this usage, including:
George Ade, The Girl Proposition: A Bunch of He And She Fables (1902):
“He came back a trifle Squiffy. He was all lit up.”
John McGavock Grider, War Birds: Diary Of An Unknown Aviator (1918):
“We walked into the vamp’s house. We all got lit and had a hell of a time.”
In the 1930s, the meaning of lit expanded to describe someone under the influence of other drugs.
The resurgence and evolution of lit in slang usage since the mid-2000s is largely due to hip hop culture. It broadened from describing people at wild, exciting parties and other events to the parties and events themselves. This in turn further expanded on a mainstream level to a general term meaning amazing or awesome.
A number of hip hop artists have used lit in their music, which reflects the influence of this genre on the term. Examples include “Get Lit” by A$AP Rocky (2011), “Lit Like Bic” by Rae Sremmurd (2015) and “Lit” by Wiz Khalifa (2015).
From the summer of 2015 and through 2016, the use of lit exploded on social media such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, as well as in texting and chat.
In October 2016, a subreddit called Nature Is Fucking Lit was launched on Reddit, and it quickly became one of the fastest growing subreddits on the site.
Lit is used as an abbreviation for literature, e.g. chick lit. It is often used when talking about literature as an academic subject, e.g. English Lit.
In education, LIT stands for Limerick Institute of Technology, which is an institution of higher education in the city of Limerick, Ireland.
In the standard vocabulary, lit means the past tense of light.