I recently came upon with a sentence:

In her office at Oxford University Press, Paton was drafting a brand new entry for the Oxford English Dictionary. Also in her in-tray when I visited were the millennial-tinged usage of “snowflake”, which she had hunted down to a Christian text from 1983 (“You are a snowflake. There are no two of you alike”), and new shadings of the compound “self-made woman”.

I think "millennial" here refer to people of Generation Y. What I fail to understand is why the saying "You are a snowflake. There are no two of you alike" is tinged with millennial features? Does it reflect something specially linked with Generation Y?

1 Answer 1


Millennials are stereotypically easily offended and very sensitive about anything bad. A "snowflake" or "special snowflake" is a term for somebody with a very delicate ego or who is easily offended - presumably from the fragility of an actual snowflake.

This is different from their 1983 usage which was about snowflakes all being different.

  • Can you please cite the source? Thanks.
    – Kris
    Mar 7, 2018 at 6:30
  • @Kris presumably the OED is hunting down the first use of special snowflake wrt millenials
    – mgb
    Mar 7, 2018 at 16:24
  • In that case, this would be a valuable commentary, not an answer perhaps.
    – Kris
    Mar 8, 2018 at 9:17

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