Gen Z Slang Explained

May 6, 2024 | Sammy Tran

Gen Z Slang Explained

What Are The Kids Saying These Days?

If you're not part of Gen Z, you may have heard some of these terms and thought, "What are these kids saying?" Well, you're not alone. After some research, we finally understand some of the generation's most popular slang.



To say something "slaps" means that you find it amazing. For instance, "This sushi slaps!"

A Woman Picking Sushi with ChopsticksIvan Samkov, Pexels


"Fam" is the short-form word for family. However, it's usually used to address a friend—similar to how millennials say "bro."

Brothers Sitting on Patio and TalkingJulia M Cameron, Pexels


"Drip" is a way of saying something is very stylish or cool. For instance, "Wow! You're new outfit is drippin'!"

Beautiful Women Laughing while Having ConversationMaksim Goncharenok, Pexels

Glow up

A "Glow up" is a positive transformation, usually referring to a physical makeover.

Female Posing on a SidewalkYonatan Gonzalez, Pexels


If someone calls you the "CEO" of something, it means you're really good at it—a pro or a master.

Young male friends bumping fists.William Fortunato, Pexels


"GOAT" is the acronym for "The Greatest of All Time." It's used to compliment someone, implying that they're amazing. For instance, "In Hollywood, Meryl Streep is the GOAT."

A Happy Man in a Black Suit Holding His TrophyRDNE Stock project, Pexels

Cancel Culture

"Cancelling" someone is a part of cancel culture. This is when people turn their backs on a public figure, organization, or company based on their actions. It usually involves shaming them.

Alone man standing outside.Elliot Ogbeiwi, Pexels


"Stan" combines two words: "fan" and "stalker." When you stan someone, you're acknowledging your obsession with them, but it isn't considered creepy.

Woman Hiding behind green WallAlican Helik, Pexels

Living rent-free

If there's something on your mind that you just can't stop thinking about, you might say that it's "living rent-free" in your head.

Studio portrait of beautiful young woman thinking and looking upwards.ArtFamily, Shutterstock

E-boy or E-girl

The "e" in "e-boy" or "e-girl" stands for "electronic." These e-boys and e-girls are part of a youth subculture defined by its association to the internet. They create an online persona based around their looks. It evolved out of emo, scene, and goth fashion—and is also influenced by Japanese and Korean street fashion.

Gamer girl with Black Headphones.Florenz Mendoza, Pexels


To the rest of us, "W" is just another letter, but if you're from Gen Z, it actually means "win."

Woman Raising Her Hands Up While Sitting on FloorAndrea Piacquadio, Pexels


"Snatched" can be used to describe a person's attractive appearance. For instance, you would say, "You look snatched," to show appreciation for someone's outfit.

Woman Wearing Blue Top is smiling and looking at camera.Rodolfo Magalhães, Pexels


"Ghosting" refers to cutting off communication with someone. This can be a friend or someone you've just started dating. It usually involves ignoring someone's texts and never responding to them.

A Woman in White Sweater looking at Cellphone.Ivan Samkov, Pexels


According to the Oxford Dictionary, dank means "damp, cold, and unpleasant." However, when it comes to Gen Z slang, it actually means the opposite—amazing or high quality.

Happy man Holding an Instant CameraThangaraj Nagercoil Best Editor in The World, Pexels


If you're feeling jealous, then you're feeling "salty."

Man reading message on phone, his wife i looking jealously at himVIZ UALNI, Shutterstock

Big Yikes

When "yikes" just doesn't do the job, you can use "big yikes," implying that the situation is even more embarrassing.

Embarrassed Boy Covering His Face.Karolina Grabowska, Pexels


When something is luxurious or extravagant it can be described as "boujee."

Woman Standing Near Glass Holding PhoneAndrea Piacquadio, Pexels


"L" is the opposite of "W." Therefore instead of a win, it means a loss.

Man making Loser gestureKhosro, Shutterstock


Instead of saying "I'm going to," one can say, "I'm finna."

Young couple arguing on street.Keira Burton, Pexels


"Cap" is a bit of an older term, but it means falsehood. Thefore, "no cap" means being truthful.

Ethnic couple arguing on street in daytimeBudgeron Bach, Pexels


The opposite of being "low-key" is being "high-key."

Happy people Looking at Laptop and smiling.Fox, Pexels


Someone who is "cheugy" is usually being mocked for their aesthetic, usually those who still prescribe to trends from the 2010s (for instance, wearing skinny jeans). It usually means that someone is uncool or behind the times.

A Group of Students Bullying their Classmatecottonbro studio, Pexels


Someone is a "simp" when they put too much effort into the person they're romantically interested in.

Loving Hispanic couple cuddling near buildingBudgeron Bach, Pexels


When something is "camp," it means that its style is exaggerated—something ironically trendy.

Close-Up Photo Of Woman With Pink HairQuốc Bảo, Pexels


When you call someone a "snack," you're saying that you find that person attractive.

Close-up of a Woman with Freckles Biting her Lipimustbedead, Pexels


"TFW" means "that feeling when." For instance, "TFW I take my first sip of coffee in the morning."

Woman talking on smartphone and drinking cup of coffee.George Milton, Pexels


If someone calls you "woke," it means that they think you're informed and up to date with current politics.

Man and Woman Discussing in WorkplaceMART PRODUCTION, Pexels

Sip tea

"Sip tea" means that you are listening to, or eavesdropping on, some gossip.

Woman in Black Leather Coat Standing By The Stairscottonbro studio, Pexels

Take several seats

You might tell someone to "take several seats" if you're unhappy with them. They could be talking too much or trying too hard, or saying something dumb.

Three People arguing in the room.Gustavo Fring, Pexels


IYKYK is the acronym for "if you know, you know." When used, it's usually referencing an inside joke or something only a particular group of people might clue into.

Five Women Laughing outside.nappy, Pexels


When you call a song or album a "bop," you're saying that you think it's extremely good.

Young girl is listening music at school.Anastasiya Gepp, Pexels

Hits different

To say something "hits different" means that your experience is better than it was before—it's special, better, or unique.

Young Man Sitting and Showing Thumbs UpDanik Prihodko, Pexels


"Bet" means "yes," and is often used as a confirmation.

Joyful man sitting on lush tree branchUriel Mont, Pexels

Vibe check

The phrase "vibe check" can be used to ascertain a place's atmosphere, as well as the overall mood of a situation. It might even be used in regard to a person or group of people.

Man Wearing a Yellow Shirt Doing a PresentationMikael Blomkvist, Pexels


"Periodt" is used for emphasis, usually at the end of the sentence. It adds intensity to whatever's being said.

Irritated woman shouting at husbandKeira Burton, Pexels

Catch these hands

"Catch these hands" can be used to instigate a fight. For example, "If you keep talking to me like that, you're about to catch these hands."

Two Women and a Man Arguing on a StreetZeytune Grupo, Pexels


Getting "dragged" means that you've been made fun of or openly criticized. If you "drag" someone, you're the one roasting them.

A Couple Having a ConversationWindo Nugroho, Pexels


"Finesse" means getting what you want through manipulation, smooth talking, or persuasion. It's the ability to skillfully handle a situtation.

Two girls talking outside.Mizuno K, Pexels

I'm weak

"I'm weak" can be used in the same situations as "I'm dead"—when something is extremely funny or shocking.

Shocked woman is looking at side with open mouth.Andrea Piacquadio, Pexels


"Smol" is a way of saying that something is both small and very cute.

Surprised woman looking at cell phoneAndrea Piacquadio, Pexels

Main character

If someone has "main character" energy they appear confident and seem to be the center of attention; they are the hero of their own story and are the dominate force in a given situation.

Friends Discussing on the StaircaseKILJOY MAGAZINE, Pexels


"Bussin'" means something is extremely good.

A Happy Woman making Thumbs UpRDNE Stock project, Pexels

Sending me

"Sending me" can be a response to multiple things. It can be a reaction to something hilarious, amusing, or even annoying.

Happy adult woman talking on phone and using laptopAndrea Piacquadio, Pexels


"Sus" is the shortened form of "suspicious." Therefore, it's used to describe something mysterious, shady, or potentially threatening.

Man with Curly Hair thinking and looking down.ray guesc, Pexels

This ain't it, chief

If you disapproved of something, you might say, "This ain't it, chief."

Man in Blue Jacket and Black Pants Flashing the Thumbs DownWoodysMedia, Pexels

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