An overnight sensation, the phrase “on fleek” has taken American culture by storm. From eyebrows to music to celebrities, fleek is everywhere and everything people want to be on.
If the auto-correct on your phone still corrects fleek to another word that starts with “F” and ending with a “K” (like firework, facemask and fork obviously), chances are you have yet to discover the joy that comes when being “on fleek.” But not to worry. You shall soon discover it for yourself.
When it comes to using the phrase “on fleek” to describe exceptional quality, pronunciation is step one. The phrase is pronounced “AWN FUH-LEAK” (rhymes with “pawn chic” and “swan leak”).
According to junior Atara Muhammad, the phrase originated from a video by Vine user Peaches Monroe.
“She was talking about how good her eyebrows looked and from there, the phrase took off,” said Muhammad.
Essentially, “on fleek” is another way of saying “on point.” They are easily interchangeable.
For example, say that you are getting ready to go out on a date whether it’s with bae, your girls or yourself. (Yes, people go on dates with themselves.) You best believe that you will make sure that your outfit, your make-up, and ESPECIALLY your eyebrows are on fleek. For the sake of your friends, bae, you or any haters trying to flex. (But this is a no flex zone, and they should know better.)
Other definitions, as provided by Urban Dictionary, are “fresh”, “cool”, “swavy”, and “off the chain.”
Originally, “on fleek” was just intended for eyebrows, but now, “on fleek” can be used to describe basically anything.
“I use the phrase to refer to anything being on point or at a really high standard,” explains sophomore Jesi Price. “Fleek is when you are just killin’ it in a particular area. Anything can be on fleek. Your eyebrows, outfit, even your grades.”
“On fleek” has even made its way into popular culture.
In her hit song Feeling Myself featuring Beyoncé, rap artista Nicki Minaj uses the phrase “pretty on fleek” to describe how her and her girls slay in every sense of the word.
If you have ever noticed one of the billion selfies on your Instagram timeline with the caption “pretty on fleek,” you now know why.
Singer Ariana Grande even performed a song version of the original Vine (That girl can make anything sound beautiful by the way, but I digress).
And of course, there’s Nicki using the phrase to describe Ari’s voice in their song Bang Bang (that also features Jessie J).
Some say the phrase “on fleek” shot to popularity because of the simplicity of the phrase, while Price thinks it’s so popular because it is such a fun expression.
“I think as a generation, we all go through our words to express something that’s hot,” Price said. “People used to say ‘that’s fly’, then ‘that’s clean’, and now we say ‘that’s on fleek!’”
If you were a little late to catch up to what the kids are saying now adays, don’t worry, according to Muhammad, you are not alone.
“It’s really hard for me to keep up with trending phrases and popular language because pop culture changes overnight, especially when the Internet is involved,” Muhammad said.
It’s fair to conclude that the words and phrases “ratchet,” “you the real MVP,” “turn up” and “yaaaaasss” are just are few that came, changed popular language and are slowly on their way out. “On fleek” is likely to follow suit.
There just has to be a new and upcoming phrase about our eyebrows to give it the boot first.
words_kayla lott. design_megan mccrink.