What are they talking about?! The top 40 slang words from Gen Z – from Karen to no cap07/02/2021
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From Karen to cancel culture, there’s a vast difference in the way the young people of today communicate from that of 50 years ago. You might have been boss, hip, or happening back in the day, but now your dated lingo makes you a bit of a square. Whether you want to understand your kids a bit more, or just have no idea what the youth of today are going on about, there’s a lot to learn about the modern-day slang.
Don’t be intimidated by the words or phrases used by the younger generation because every single generation has its own unique way of speaking.
Slang terms come in and out of fashion and are essentially just a set of terms that are relevant to a certain time or era.
Some words used by Millennials, Gen X, Boomers and Beyond will be totally foreign to Gen Z and vice versa.
Much of Gen Z’s and even Millennials’ dialects have been influenced by the internet and social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok, unlike the generations that came before them.
However, this language doesn’t stay on the web; it seeps its way into the day-to-day conversations of young people, music and pop culture.
Not sure what on earth the kids are talking about these days? Fear not.
Express.co.uk chatted to the language experts at Busuu.com to find out the top 40 Gen Z words, phrases and acronyms so you can be fluent in your children, grandchildren, and younger siblings’ slang.
The 40 Gen Z slang words parents NEED to know
- Bussin’: Something that’s really good.
- CEO of …: Someone who is the best at something.
- Clutch: It’s good and comes in handy.
- Extra: Being over the top or dramatic.
- Fire: Used to describe something very good.
- Fit: Another word for an outfit.
- Finna: The contracted form of “fixing to” and is commonly used in the south of the United States, it means getting ready to do something.
- Flex: To brag about something that is good.
- Gassed: Being overwhelmed and excited.
- Glow up: An incredible transformation.
- Highkey: Someone wants to do something and they want the attention.
- Hits different: Feels special or is great / better.
- Karen: A middle-aged woman who considers herself better than others. This is a pejorative slang term, and can often be about someone who does something racist.
- Lit: Really good.
- Lowkey: Someone secretly wants to do something and they don’t want to be obvious about it.
- No cap: Means “no lie”. Another way of saying “seriously”.
- Period / ‘periodt’: Emphasising the end of a statement.
- Sheesh: To either be impressed or to express disbelief or exasperation.
- Shook: A way to express that you are emotionally shaken or affected by something.
- Simp: Someone who does way too much for a person they like.
- Shade: To publicly denounce or disrespect someone.
- Slay: To describe that someone is doing a great job or that they are really cool.
- Sus: Abbreviated from “suspicious” – it means you do not believe something.
- Tea: Another word for gossip. If someone “spills the tea” that means they are spreading gossip. If someone “sips the tea” that means they are listening to gossip.
- (Passing the) Vibe check: To vibe check someone is to assess them based on how they seem. Passing the vibe check usually means that you’re a cool, chill person, or just the type of person that the person doing the vibe checking is into.
- Yeet: To throw something at high velocity. Yeet is also used as an exclamation of victory or excitement, similar to “yay!”
- AF: As f*ck. The most extreme degree of feeling, either positive or negative.
- DM: Direct message.
- FR: For real.
- IMO: In my opinion.
- IRL: In real life.
- IYKYK: If you know, you know.
- KPC: Keeping parents clueless.
- PAH: Parent at home.
- PAW: Parents are watching.
- PITR: Parents in the room.
- POMS: Parents over my shoulder.
- RN: Right now.
- SMT: Sucking my teeth.
- SMH: Shake my head.
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