What Are the Slang Words Gen Z Is Using in 2020?
If you've recently had an encounter with your Generation Z kids or grandkids and had absolutely no idea what was being said, then you're not alone. Like kids of every generation, young people these days have many slang terms that adults are unlikely to understand.
Here you'll find a handy guide to Gen Z slang that will help translate exactly what your favorite kids are attempting to communicate. You might even find some of them slipping into your own vocabulary.
Who is this "fam" your teen is always so delighted to greet when they answer the phone? Well, rest assured that fam is highly unlikely to be the identity of your kid's awkwardly named best friend. It's actually a term of endearment that's short for "family."
Resist the urge to bust out the sage even if you hear your teen remark that someone has "ghosted" them. While not a good thing, the term doesn't actually have any supernatural implications. It basically means that someone has stopped communicating with them, usually in an abrupt manner.
The "clapback" is a celebrated form of verbal retaliation against someone who has attempted to hurt your feelings. It's executed by responding to a rude remark or insult with an absolutely perfect comeback that's designed to shut down the original insulter.
Bop is a title awarded to a song that the speaker highly enjoys. For instance, should your favorite Gen Z member's song come on the radio, you might hear them exclaim, "This song is such a bop!" Should a song achieve bop status in a car full of teens, the polite thing to do is to turn up the volume.
Should a young person exclaim "Wig!" in your presence, there's not necessarily any need to send your hand flying up to steady your toupee. "Wig" is actually a verbal celebration of something amazing or incredible happening. It's meant to imply that you're so excited that your metaphorical wig has flown off.
Cap and No Cap
To cap or not to cap, that is the question. Used in the context of Gen Z, however, "capping" has nothing to do with headwear. A "cap" is a lie, so to accuse a statement of being a cap is to declare that it's false.
Don't panic if you hear your kids or grandkids making plans to "twatch" because it's not nearly as dirty as it sounds. A combination of the words "Twitter" and "Watch," twatching means following a live event on Twitter instead of watching the entire thing unfold on TV.
If someone is "flexing," they're showing off their money or luxury items in a less than humble way. The point of a good flex is to brag about your riches in such a way that implies that they make you better than your fellows.
"Lit" is one of those words that can get a little tricky due to its variety of possible meanings. It can be a state of being, an affirmative exclamation, or an adjective. If referring to a person who is currently consuming alcohol, then being "lit" means that they are insanely drunk.
Though "periodt" is a blatant misspelling of "period," in this case, the error is intentional. The idea is that the extra 't' at the end of the word somehow emphasizes its finality even more. Periodt is often used to mean "end of discussion" in a way that stresses that there is no room for argument.
This is one you'll likely understand easily, as the art of throwing shade is as old as time. Shade itself is a verbal or nonverbal expression of contempt towards another person. To "throw shade" means to express such disrespect or judgment in a casual or underhanded manner.
Low Key and High Key
When you hear a member of Gen Z describe something as "low key," it can mean several things depending on what they're referring to. If referring to a low-key event, it means that it will be an intimate gathering with only a few people. If they are keeping a relationship low-key, it means that it's not yet public knowledge and that they'd prefer to keep it that way.
Despite the seemingly negative connotations of slaying something, it actually means something good when used as slang. To "slay" something indicates success, which makes sense when you consider that the victor has slain their enemies. This young man, for example, is slaying when it comes to skateboarding skills.
"Tea" in no way actually involves a beverage, although it does refer to the juicy gossip you may have occasionally shared while sipping the drink. Remember the old phrase "spill the beans?" Now "spilling the tea" is pretty much the same thing, as apparently beans have gone out of style.
If someone is described as "basic," then they don't tend to be the type of person who thinks for themselves. A term most commonly applied to girls, it indicates that the person in question likes things more because everyone else likes them than because they personally find them appealing.
Have you ever felt shaken up? If so, then you too have experienced what it is to be "shook." Being shook refers to being very emotionally impacted by something due to its surprising, shocking or scary nature. You may find yourself shook after enduring a sudden breakup or hearing about the death of a celebrity.
If you ever hear a young person say "Bye, Felicia" even though no one named Felicia is present, then rest assured it's not a red flag that your mind is starting to go. This phrase originated from the hilarious 1995 movie Friday, starring rapper and actor Ice Cube.
If your daughter or granddaughter announces that she's a VSCO, girl then get ready to hear a great deal about the importance of saving sea turtles. Named after an online photo editing app, VSCO (pronounced "Visco") girls have become a breed all their own.
If a young person encourages you to stop being so salty, then it's time to take a good look at your mood and how it's affecting others. Being salty means that you're bitter, upset or frustrated with a situation, and odds are that you're directly or indirectly letting everyone around you know it.
An oldie but goodie. If you're tired of expressing your pleasure by labeling things as "good" or "delightful," then try taking "sick" out for a spin. When used in this context, "sick" has nothing to do with illness and rather implies that a person, place or thing is awesome.
The next time you happen to overhear two young people talking, you may hear one use the reply "mood." No, she's not attempting to change the conversation to her feelings, but rather, she’s affirming that she feels the same about whatever it is the other person has just said.
Have you ever been so hungry that you absolutely couldn't concentrate on anything else? You'll probably agree that when you find yourself in such a state, nothing is more annoying than someone attempting to hold a conversation with you that distracts you from the prospect of food.
Have you ever been so frustrated with something that you just can't handle it? A member of Gen Z might respond to the situation by announcing that they "can't even." For instance, the young woman pictured here can't even with her studies.
When you want to give an affirmative response to something, you likely say "yes." When you want to wholeheartedly endorse something, then "yaaaas" is generally the proper response. The more letter a's you include in the "yas," the higher your endorsement becomes.
Originally, being "woke" meant that you were aware of social injustices and were bold enough to defy "the man" and have an opinion about them. While still used in this sense, it can also be used sarcastically to describe someone who has gone a bit overboard in their quest for justice for all.
This Ain't It, Chief
"This ain't it, Chief" is a term used to signify a comment or situation that you find unappealing, stupid, or wrong. Imagine, for instance, that your husband had forgotten your anniversary but assured you that he was going to take you out to a nice dinner to make up for it.
"Yeet" is a term that you might hear used as anything from an exclamation of excitement to a mild-mannered war cry. The phrase originated from an online dance move and crept its way into popular culture due to its wide range of uses.
We all went through that awkward phase as kids. You know, the one where your hair was one big ball of frizz, you were way too skinny or overweight or were covered in pimples. Eventually, time comes to the rescue of many of us and transforms people into handsome young men or women.
The word "hella" is an adverb that can be used in the same way as "very" or "super." The young man in this photo, for instance, is hella frustrated. As you can see by the look on his mildly scary face, he has gone beyond mere frustration and hence needs an adverb to strengthen his description.
While you may be familiar with Gucci, the luxury Italian fashion brand, you may also be confused to hear kids referring to things as "Gucci" that are clearly not. Have no fear; the brand has not lowered its standards, but rather has become a word often used to signify that something is good.