Katie, a biology professor in San Diego, California, reports that her students use low-key in ways she’s not used to hearing, as in I was low-key lost in class today, meaning “I was sort of lost in class today.” Linguists Pamela Monroe at the University of California Los Angeles and Connie Eble of the University of North Carolina and their students report the use of low-key as a modifier to mean “kind of” or “with slight inclination.”

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