Ghosting, Vamping, Zombieing, and Other Spooky Slang

Halloween pumpkins

Like a mysterious shadow in the doorway, Halloween has descended upon us again. For this scary season, we compiled a list of the spookiest-sounding slang (even if they aren't all frightful). So, uncover your eyes and check out our terrifying terms:

1. Ghosting

This popular slang term refers to a person's abrupt departure (much like a ghost vanishing into thin air), whether from a party or a relationship (a frightening thought for those who want closure). Gamers may also use it to refer to a player observing an opponent's gameplay (typically via a Twitch stream).

2. Ghost cheeks

This term is a little eerie because it refers to the warmth of a seat you experience that another person created. Think of a recently vacated toilet seat in a public restroom. Gives you the heebie-jeebies, right?

3. Caspering

You may have heard of "Casper," the friendly animated ghost (from the TV show and movie). This term is a variation of ghosting but describes an end to a relationship in a friendly (a la Casper) but confusing way.

4. Energy vampire

We all know that vampires suck (in a literal blood-sucking sense and a figuratively dreadful sense). In the case of an energy vampire, they suck all your emotional energy with their neediness, problems, and dependence on you. Think of an emotionally unstable sibling or micro-managing boss on a Monday morning.

Micro-managing bosses can be energy vampires

5. Vamping

Besides sucking, vampires are also known for their nocturnal lifestyle. Vamping plays on this idea, as it refers to people who stay up late using electronics (basically every teenager).

6. Zombieing

Like Caspering, Zombieing is related to the ending of a relationship. However, it describes the behavior of a person who ends a relationship abruptly, only to return to the relationship, acting as if it ended mutually (similarly to how a zombie comes back from the dead to torment the living).

7. Headphone zombie

This one is relatable for anyone caught up in their music, podcast, etc., in a public space. Due to the quality of noise-cancelling headphones, it's easy for people to tune out the rest of the world, thus appearing like a zombie oblivious to what's going on around them.

8. Mombie

Any mom of an infant knows the mombie life all too well. Due to the lack of sleep brought on by a fussy, crying baby, moms may sleepwalk through the day, much like a slow-walking member of the undead. Mombie life is a terrifying reality for many young moms that only copious amounts of sleep or caffeine can remedy.

Characteristics of a mombie

9. Zombie lie

For whatever reason, some false beliefs or statements get ingrained in the culture and seem never to go away even though they have been disproven. Common examples are old wives' tales (like waiting 30 minutes to swim after eating) or lies wielded by politicians to divide people and maintain power. These disproven falsities are known as "zombie lies" because they keep returning to life.

10. Bones

Typically, people frown upon collecting bones, but when you are talking about the slang term (bones is slang for dollars), it's a much different story. Writers, homeowners, and contractors may also use bones to refer to the core structure of something, like a story or a building.

11. Dead

Death is about as spooky as you can get. It's typically no laughing matter, either. However, some people use "dead" to describe things so hilarious it causes them to die from laughter (see died and dying, as well).

12. Deadly

Typically, when something is deadly, like Michael Myers or Freddie Krueger, it's not a good thing. However, people use the "deadly" slang term to describe something extremely good or excellent. Think of a basketball player who is deadly from 3-point range or your friend "looking deadly" in her new fit.

13. Dead Presidents

The thought of old, dead presidents may be a little creepy, but the slang term is anything but. Like bones, dead presidents refer to dollars, and the name comes from the portraits of past presidents that decorate them.

14. Creeper

The last term on the list may be the scariest. For Minecraft gamers, a creeper is a hostile mob that stalks players, sneaks up on them, and then explodes. The term comes from the socially invasive people who make others uncomfortable (accidentally or intentionally). Try to steer clear of both kinds of creepers.

A creeper being creepy