There are some words in the English language that er more know for their figurative meaning than that actual literal meaning. This happens when a figurative meaning is developed, and it becomes so popular that it supersedes the literal one. There are also times when the meaning of a word will change depending on a few factors such as the context it is used in, the person saying or using it and the environment it is being said.
One subculture might come up with the first meaning, and that meaning becomes so popular that another subculture begins using it and then transforming its meaning as well. All the above is what the idiom “stay frosty” has undergone since its invasion into everyday lexicon.
What does “Stay frosty” mean?
“Stay frosty” is an idiom which means that someone should remain at alert and keep their emotions in check. It also means that someone should be on their toes. This meaning was developed by the military and as time went on, it began to gain new definitions down the line. For one, it can be said that “stay frosty” means to be cool. It can also be a new and exciting way to say goodbye or farewell to others.
Where does “Stay frosty” originate from?
While it has been difficult to truly ascertain where and when “stay frosty” became a metaphor, one can guess that it is in a way linked to the more renowned “be cool”.
This isn’t surprising considering that “cool” as a term has to do with the idea that emotions have different temperatures attached to them. For instance, these common phrases typically highlight the presence of a temperature with an emotion:
“She was so cold to me
Why are you hot and bothered?
They received us warmly
The meeting was canceled because tempers flared”
To “stay frosty” is to be “cool” as it most likely comes from the same place. There is, however, a difference, as “frosty” is a lot colder than “cool” so you can say that when someone’s being “frosty” they are a level above being “cool”
The second origin story of “stay frosty” has to do with the military. Considering that information needed to be passed as quickly as possible in a concise manner, it makes sense that this was the first introduction of “stay frosty” to the world. In this instance, “stay frosty” means to be alert. It doesn’t mean what any of the civilian modern contexts have made it to mean.
4 examples of how to use “Stay frosty” in a sentence
Using “stay frosty” to mean relax
“stay frosty” can be used in the same context as “chill”. What it simply means is that you are telling someone to relax and keep calm. This is admittedly a new definition of the word that has come into play.
“we are just going to have fun, no arguments. Stay frosty”
“I don’t want any issues. Stay frosty”
Using “stay frosty” to mean calm down
This instance is used when trying to calm someone down. Perhaps, there has been an argument or tempers have flared, you could tell the appropriate person to “stay frosty” meaning calm down or cool down.
“ok, everybody just take a moment to stay frosty. There’s been a lot of shouting and not a lot of talking”
Using “stay frosty” as a greeting or valediction
This example is a lesser known one as it is typically used when you are trying to say goodbye to someone. It differs from other examples of uses on this list as it doesn’t act as an instruction, getting someone to do something, be at alert or relax. It simply means bye, farewell or I’m leaving now.
Tim: what’s the time?
You: it’s past 6 why?
Tim: I have an appointment for 6:40.
You: You should get going
Tim: yeah, I should. Stay frosty
“I’m heading out you guys, stay frosty”
Using “stay frosty” as a metaphor to be alert
This example is typically associated with the military. This isn’t surprising considering it was the military that first started using “stay frosty”. In a way, it means to be as cool as ice, unnerving and strong. It is meant to keep you on your toes and watch out for enemies or whatever the case may be.
In this instance, it means to not only remain alert but remain in control of your emotions. As stated earlier, it is typically used in combat situations, and when used shows concern for their sisters or brothers in arms.
“Watch your 6 (which means to watch your back), make no mistake, the enemy is out here. Stay frosty.
“We have 4 more hours on watch duty, can’t slack off now. Stay frosty”
Alternatives to saying “Stay frosty”
Since “stay frosty” has an extremely popular, which is to keep calm in a situation. It makes perfect sense that there are various terms or phrases to use in this instance. You should note that all these phrases will be best suited for informal situation as telling your supervisor or boss to “stay frosty” might come off a little bit awkward.
The first alternative to “stay frosty” is “be cool”. It simply means to maintain your composure at any moment, without letting emotion get to you.
we are just going to have fun, no arguments. Be cool”
“I don’t want any issues. Be cool”
“there is going to be a lot going on, so I need you focused at all times. Be cool”
“We have 4 more hours on watch duty, can’t slack off now. Be cool”
This phrase is typically used when “stay frosty” acts like a greeting. In this case, it means to say goodbye.
“I’ll see you guys later. Peace out.”
“I have to go now. Peace out”
Is it 7 already? Wow, I’m late. Peace out”
Person A: Are you guys leaving?
Person B: Yeah, we have a long trip ahead of us. So best to get going now. Peace out.