30 Words You’ll See In Craigslist Apartment Ads, And What They Really Mean


If you live in a city with a high student population, chances are good that you’ll be spending some time on Craiglist this August. Maybe you’re looking to buy some cheap furniture for your new apartment. Maybe you’re a graduating college senior looking for a sublet, or are just trying to get into a new housing situation as soon as possible.


Finding exactly what you’re looking for in a Craigslist posting can be a time-consuming challenge by itself, but there’s nothing more disappointing than arriving to pick up your new bookshelf, meeting your potential roommates, or viewing your potential apartment only to find something utterly unlike what as described.

That is why I have compiled a list of common terms used on Craigslist postings, and what they mean.

Words to Describe Furniture

antique: I took this from my parents’ house. They’re old. So is this.

barely used (bed): I have not gotten laid in years.

barely used (desk): I’ve been intending to work on my novel for eight months, but every time I sit down to write I suddenly become distracted and decide to jerk off in the shower instead.

free: I bought it from Ikea and couldn’t understand the instructions and put it together wrong, just like I do everything wrong. It looms in the corner of the living room, a glaring reminder of my insufficiencies as a human. Please take this from me. Please relieve me of my shame.

functional: We ran out of adjectives for this item, but thought this posting needed more adjectives.

lightly used: Someone vomited on this object about two months ago. We cleaned it as best we could. The smell remains, but you get used to it.

mahogany: Made of some kind of…wood?

sturdy: All of the roommates have had sex on this object at one point or another, and it has not yet broken beyond repair.

quality: I purchased this for $20 and am selling it to you for $40. Please respect the machinations of capitalism at work by not examining the item too hard.

Words to Describe Property

basement: You will be sharing a room with an ancient water heater, which will hiss and purr and scream at all odd hours like a cat in labor. You will have one window, which will face the alley, which will be urinated on three times a night every night, with an almost clock-like regularity. It is the metronome by which you set the tempo of your life.

bohemian: The neighborhood has gentrified.

charming: Authentic 1970s appliances, authentic 1980s fixtures, authentic lead paint.

colourful: The neighborhood is gentrifying, and we’re all unsubtly racist about it.

cozy: 6ft x 6ft bedroom. Roaches snuggle up with you in your sleep. Rats curl on the duvet at your feet.

historic: Asbestos!

pet-friendly: Say hello to Falco, my cage-free tarantula!

rustic: There is a dead skunk in the basement. It will be trapped in the walls forever. The landlord will do nothing about it.

sunny: Fourth-floor attic sauna.

Words to Describe Roommates

active: We do cross-fit. We will not shut up about it. We will not stop. You should really join us at the gym some day! Join us, Kelly! J O I N U S. S U B M I T Y O U R L I M B S T O C R O S S F I T . . .

chill: My mom pays my car insurance.

conscious: My mom pays my Whole Foods bill.

courteous: Passive-aggressive beyond your wildest reckonings.

laid-back: No one does the dishes. (Except you! How ‘bout it?)

nerdy: Get ready for six months of crippling social awkwardness.

no drama: You are not allowed to get angry when I spill tequila on your quilt or leave the gas on all night. I, however, am allowed to get angry when you get angry with me for destroying family heirlooms/almost killing us all.

open-minded: Flexitarians who watch “Modern Family.”

respectful: See “courteous.”

quiet: When you enter the kitchen, we will dart from the room like rabbits. No matter that we have something boiling on the stove, no matter that our garlic bread is burning in the oven. We will hide in the shadows and watch you with our wet, wide pink eyes, noses twitching, until you retreat from the kitchen and we can resume our routines.

quirky: We may just silly-string the living room at some point on a whimsical whimsy, or we might actually murder you with scissors in your sleep, so don’t be surprised by either outcome.

work hard, play hard: We work in finance and drink Bud Light Lime. We are terrible people. You should not live with us.