Thicker Grits Dictionary

The Thicker Grits Dictionary is updated as slang, terms and complex concepts are used within the articles.  

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APY- annual percentage yield, or the annual rate of return considering compound interest


Barista FIRE see Financial Independence Retire Early (FIRE), from Investopedia. Refers to followers who have quit their traditional job, but still employ some form of part-time work to cover current expenses that would otherwise erode their retirement fund.

Beneficiary n. A named person or entity who gains advantage, control or possession of something (usually an asset, insurance policy, or account) at the turn of an event (usually death or incapacitation)


Coast FIRE see Financial Independence Retire Early (FIRE), from Investopedia. Applies to followers with a part-time job, but without assuming that the retiree has saved enough to fund a full retirement considering current living expenses.

Compound interest- interest calculated on the principal (initial deposit or loan) and on the accumulated interest of previous periods


Dividend– n. distribution of all or some of a company’s earnings. Traditionally paid to investors of the company’s stock (shareholders) and determined by the board of directors.


Ebonics– n. casual American English traditionally spoken by persons of Black, African or Caribbean descent. A language in its own right rather than a dialect.

Emergency fund– n A stash of money saved for unexpected events and costly emergency, such as a job loss or a dental emergency. These funds typically amount to between six and nine months of expenses, and may be held in electronically-accessible accounts.  Also see Mattress Money.

Extra- adj used as though something or someone is extra, doing too much, over the top, excessively good or bad.


Fat FIRE see Financial Independence Retire Early (FIRE), from Investopedia. Refers to an individual with a more traditional lifestyle who saves more than the average retirement investor.

Financial Independence (FI)- The state of sufficient wealth (including assets) which generates cash flow to sustain a lifestyle without having to depend on an alternative income or employment.

Financial Independence Retire Early (FIRE)-  (from Investopedia) Financial Independence Retire Early (FIRE) is a groundswell movement dedicated to a lifestyle of extreme savings and investment that allows proponents to retire far earlier than traditional budgets and retirement plans would allow. By dedicating up to 70% of income to savings, followers of the FIRE movement may eventually be able to quit their jobs and live solely off small withdrawals from their portfolios.

Within the FIRE movement are several styles that dictate the lifestyle devotees are able and willing to abide by.

  • “Fat FIRE”
  • “Lean FIRE”
  • “Barista FIRE”
  • “Coast FIRE”


Grit- n. firmness of mind or spirit; unyielding courage in the face of hardship or danger (Merriam Webster)

Grits- n. coarse meal. From the Muskogee traditional stone ground maize .


Intersectionality– n. the interconnected nature of social categorizations that connect and combine factors of identity– individual, group and community– which are including but not limited to race, class, and gender.  These factors are considered overlapping and interdependent systems of sociocultural discrimination and disadvantage.

Want to learn more? See Kimberlé Crenshaw in this video or watch her TED talk here, or consider some of our Recommended Readings.  

Intrinsic- adj. essential in nature; original or constitutional to a thing; of a defining nature, natural, integral, or ingrained in a thing.


Lean FIRE- see Financial Independence Retire Early (FIRE), from Investopedia. Refers to stringent adherence to minimalist living and extreme savings, necessitating a far more restricted lifestyle.

Lit- adj. Extremely exciting or cool. Synonyms: hot; ill.


Mattress Money- n. Money held in cash and set aside in an extremely accessibly location for extreme emergency, where electronic access may not be a viable option. Particularly important for locations in line for natural disasters.

Mutual Fund- n. A fiscal collaborative of contributions from many into the stocks, bonds or other investment vehicles of few entities.


Net Worth- n. The value of your assets less your debts.


Patois- n. Dialect of common people of a region, differing across various respects from the language of the majority or standard for the rest of the country.


Slang- n. colloquial language, usually regarded as informal and often influenced by various aspects of the speakers’ culture, language, dialect or sayings, and potentially accent or tone.

Spanglish- n. a casual, hybrid language based on vocabulary, tone, expressions  and intonations from Spanish and English.


Tea- n. gossip, drama or dirt


Vesting- n. to earn entitlements to a present or future payment or asset.


Woke- adj. Politically or socially active or aware of a complex or problematic set of issues pertaining to othered people (ie, race, gender equity)

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