The majority of slang evolve in cities with large African-American populations before spreading out more widely, a study of the language used on the social network has revealed.
To come to the conclusion, Jacob Eisenstein at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta and colleagues examined 30 million tweets sent from US locations between December 2009 and May 2011, New Scientists reported.
He found that several new terms spread during this period, including “bruh”, an alternative spelling of “bro” or “brother”, which first arose in a few south-east cities before eventually hopping to parts of California.
And residents of Cleveland, Ohio, were the first to use “ctfu”, an abbreviation of “cracking the fuck up”, usage that has since spread into Pennsylvania.
His team also found that cities that are economically and ethnically similar - rather than geographically close to one another - are more likely to share new words.
“Their results indicate that birds of a feather tweet together,” New Scientist quoted John Nerbonne, a linguist at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, as saying.