Stay frosty refers to a popular slang expression, used for reminding someone to stay calm, to keep their cool.
Another popular military expression used to calm and motivate soldiers in the heat of battle is Until Valhalla.
Although the exact origin of the phrase is not known, cases of “Stay frosty” started occurring in print in the second half of the 20th century.
The first cases of “Stay frosty” can be found in issues of the Boy’s Life magazine, published in the early 1960’s.
In these cases, however, the expression was used literally, not figuratively.
By the following decade, however, “Stay frosty” would appear in the sense currently known to people, in the 1970 book of Joseph Wambaugh: “The New Centurions”.
It also appeared in the movie adaptation of the book, which premiered under the same title in 1972.
In contemporary contexts, the phrase became deeply associated with military slang.
It was first defined on Urban Dictionary on June 21st, 2003, however it was defined as a way of saying goodbye, like Stay Fresh Cheese Bags.
A notable example for the phrase, which might have reintroduced it to popular slang comes from Season 1 Episode 6 of Generation Kill, which aired under the title “Stay Frosty” on August 17th, 2008.
Its popularity also rose following the release of the video game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, which included the phrase on several occasions.
During the 2010’s, several songs made a reference to the expression, such as Van Halen’s “Stay Frosty”, released on February 7th, 2012, and Fall Out Boy’s “Stay Frosty Royal Milk Tea”, released on January 19th, 2018.