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Breaking the Dating Code – 2021

Whatever happened to simple language like breaking up? Comedian Gail Forrest explains what it means to be kitten-fished, breadcrumbed, Kanye’d, and a slew of other modern dating lingo.

I think of myself as someone with a rather large vocabulary. I actually won $5.00 betting on the definition of the word “penultimate.” I claimed victory and the cash. Unfortunately, my date didn’t like being wrong or handing over the money. My friend David warned me about using big unwieldy words on dates. He has told me to drop “plethora, obstreperous, dearth, bereft, and penurious” and reminded me I am not trying to win a Pulitzer, but have a pleasant conversation. The English major in me has a tough time with monosyllables but he believes it will help me get asked out again. Yes. No. Practicing.

I am, however, way behind the times when it comes to the new dating vernacular. They are not big impressive words but simple, yet their meanings are a complete mystery to me, and personally, I just don’t get it. It’s “jabberwocky.” Who makes this shit up? I recently heard senior dating referred to as “carbon dating.” Excuse me, but I am not a 1,000-year-old woman dating a 1,000-year-old man, although sometimes it feels that way but I resent the new implication.  

When “ghosting” hit the dating dictionary the only thing that came to my mind was Caspar, or Bill Murray in Ghostbusters

My dating history involved words that were easy and self-explanatory like: cheat, breakup, liar, asshole, jerk, dumped, and “he’s just not that into you” (which came later but totally understandable.) Those words made perfect sense, derived from the English with which I was familiar. When “ghosting” hit the dating dictionary the only thing that came to my mind was Caspar, or Bill Murray in Ghostbusters, not a person on your dating radar screen that suddenly disappears. I knew that as “getting dumped.” What’s with the ghosts?

“Hooking up” used to mean meeting someone for a drink or coffee, not for the sole purpose of sex. I am dazed and confused and perhaps a thousand years old. And who and what is “kitten fishing?” They can’t swim for pities sake, so how does that segue into someone who stretches the truth. A person who lies a little about their height, weight, and photos, etc. on their dating profile is kitten fishing. Hey, I’ve dated those guys but never thought of them as kittens. I like kittens.

And who and what is “kitten fishing?”

And then there is “breadcrumbing.” Seriously millennials, what about bread crumbs reminds you of being non-committal or just flirting via email? It reminds me of being a messy eater or Hansel and Gretel. Although, I recently was breadcrumbed, but thought of it as “he’s just not that into me” not a carbohydrate. To all you “wokefishing” types, quit pretending to be liberal and come out of the conservative closet. What’s with all the fishing references anyway and does anyone actually fish for fish?

Getting “Kanye’d” is one of my favorites because I have been Kanye’d so many times I can’t count that high. Oh Kanye, more references to you are just what we need. Welcome to the date where the other person talks about themselves the entire time. I have been there, eyes glazed over, wondering if I’m still alive, and incredibly bored. So many Kanyes so little time!

I have been “Kanye’d” so many times I can’t count that high

When I think of roaches, I think of the nasty little creatures that were crawling around in my bathroom or the last little piece of a joint. In the 2021 dating dictionary, “roaching” is when you discover your partner has been dating around and keeping it a secret. In the twentieth century, I called it “cheating.” Anyone else longing for the twentieth century?

“Glamboozled” baby – all dressed up and nowhere to go because your date canceled at the last minute? I’d like to meet the person who made up that word and tell them they were SIMPLY STOOD UP.  I have to say mea culpa to “dial toning” as I’ve given someone my phone number and when they texted me went silent. My bad, but if I knew it would morph into one of these wacked out definitions I would have responded. And one more of which I am guilty, “White Clawing.” It is named after a drink I never heard of, however. This is dating someone just for their looks, even if they are basic and dull which apparently the drink is. Hey, I wish I could “White Claw” now but there are not many to date for their looks or hot bodies in my demographic. Those were the good days before I was deemed carbon and 1,000 years old.

My head is about to explode. I long for the English language. How will I ever remember and know if I’ve been kitten fished, breadcrumbed, Kanye’d, roached, glamboozled, dial toned, ghosted, or woke fished?

And can you be kitten fished, breadcrumbed, and Kanye’d at the same time?  Ghost me, please.

See medical disclaimer below. ↓


  1. Another good one Gail… out loud chuckles from me. (But it did make me feel old since I’d only heard of ghosting!)

  2. Funny stuff. Yas! (that’s millennial praise) You slayed it (millennial-speak for well done). This whole dating thing is “sus” (millenial for when something doesn’t seem right). Yes, I cheated and Googled all those.

  3. Loved this article… I, too, only knew what “ghosting” meant and thanks to this article, I’m a little less antiquated. Thanks so much … enjoyed…

  4. Thanks Gail for educating us “carbons”. I never knew any of these terms since I don’t have children and aren’t that close to millennials to know. Wow is all I can say. But every generation has their lingo! We know ours. Love your comedy brain, as always..

    • The carbon word was tough to swallow and I didn’t even get it until it was explained to me more than once! I am so behind the curve. Thanks for the comment and reading!

  5. This was hilarious and I totally agree with you. Some I didn’t know (which shows my age) but now I do and I now know what they are all talking about on these reality shows. Thank you for a good read.

    • I hate to break this to you but there were so many I didn’t add….it’s endless but we are all probably caught up enough not to be considered “carbon.”
      Thanks for reading!

    • Thanks, but I’ve read enough researching for this article. I’m sooo over the new words as I like the old fashioned ones better. Unless you want me on your podcast as I am a dating expert and funny.

  6. I’m going to make up a word right now, it’s “deconfirminated.” This is when you make a date on tinder or some app, you confirm the time and place, and then you go to that place at that time, the date doesn’t show up, and then when you contact them, they say “I didn’t think you’d show up.” Feel free to improve on my word, it’s a bit on the nose. If the assumption was that I wouldn’t show up, why agree to the date? In the pre-internet world, the worst thing that happened on a date was we struggled to make conversation, but everyone would make the best of the situation. Now, we have all the tools of perfect communication, and we still can’t agree on the most basic things! I really feel for my sons who have to date in this environment, it’s maddening. Yes means maybe, no means maybe, go means maybe… We can call the whole experience, once full of magic and possibility, simply “Meh..”

    • Your word isn’t bad but a little long and complicated for the youngsters who make up these ridiculous vocabulary words…..keep it simple and nonsequitor as yours actually has a meaning if you deconstruct it , that makes sense or conforms to the intent. I have never heard of someone saying they didn’t show because they thought you wouldn’t. That is just a lame excuse for changing their mind and not telling the other person, like getting “stood up.” It is a wild west dating land and I feel bad for myself and anyone else who is just trying to meet someone. Bottom line: it sucks and all the stupid words in the world don’t help anyone, but made for a fun article to write.


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The ideas expressed here are solely the opinions of the author and are not researched or verified by AGEIST LLC, or anyone associated with AGEIST LLC. This material should not be construed as medical advice or recommendation, it is for informational use only. We encourage all readers to discuss with your qualified practitioners the relevance of the application of any of these ideas to your life. The recommendations contained herein are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. You should always consult your physician or other qualified health provider before starting any new treatment or stopping any treatment that has been prescribed for you by your physician or other qualified health provider. Please call your doctor or 911 immediately if you think you may have a medical or psychiatric emergency.

Gail Forresthttp://www.gailforrest.com
Gail Forrest is a comedy writer and stand up comic. She studied at Second City in Chicago and has performed at Pretty Funny Women and Flappers in LA, as well as Second City to name a few. She has a published book Gonepausal on Amazon about women in midlife and is working on a new book which includes men and promises to be just as funny with even more insights on aging.


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