Want to pass the "vibe check"? Don't be basic; simply learn the Gen Z slang and you'll be low-key iconic.
Please Note: This Guide to Gen Z Slang has been updated for Fall/Winter 2020!
It seems that every few years or so, new hip terms and lingo enter our lives, and we're forced to either adapt and learn the slang or be stuck in our ways and feel disconnected from everything and everybody. And like previous generations, the kids of Gen Z—those born between 1996 and 2010—have come up with their own slang, much of it tied into the media culture they've grown up with.
So, we've looked far and wide for the best Gen Z slang around the internet (and talked to our local teens as well), compiling the most-used Gen Z terms into this comprehensive guide in order to help you get a better grasp on the lingo. Annnnd, it's been updated for the summer of 2020! (You're welcome.)
Refers to someone who is unoriginal and only follows mainstream trends.
An affirmative response meaning "definitely," "absolutely," etc. E.g.,"When this quarantine is over, wanna meet up at the mall?" "Bet!"
Gender-neutral term for a friend; can be used in disgust or excitement.
Usually appears as only the 🎂 emoji on TikTok (not the word); refers to a thick, juicy booty, in a positive light.
An expression that denotes various emotional responses when a person can't comprehend what was said or what's happening. Used on blogging sites like Tumblr.
"Cap" means you're lying (like you're hiding beneath your cap/hat). "No cap" means you're not lying. E.g., "I did my homework all by myself, no cap!"
The new way of saying cool. "He's not uptight; he's pretty chill."
Clap Those Cheeks
A euphemism for sex (😬).
Clown / Clowned / Clowning / 🤡
Being made a fool of; self-deprecating. Often a Joker or Ronald McDonald clown meme will also be used. E.g. "Me, thinking that the Walmart website would actually work on the day the PS5 was released 🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡."
Something that makes one cringe. (Editor's Note: "Learning Gen Z lingo is 'cringy' for us millennials!")
See the definition of "thicc" down below ... means the same thing as thicc, but even better and juicier. (We're told it's a compliment) 🤷♀️
Over the top or excessive. Someone who is exhibiting dramatic behavior.
Used in response to a point well-made. E.g., Person 1: "This school is wack!" Person 2: "Facts." (find the definition for "wack," below)
The ultimate insult; an adjective describing someone who is disingenuous, lies a lot, talks behind people's backs, and pretends to be your friend but secretly doesn't like you.
Used to describe those you consider close friends.
Describes something that is really good or cool.
A transformation of one's appearance, usually from unattractive to very attractive.
A term used to describe what someone wants in their life (i.e., "Couple goals, squad goals").
An acronym for "hit me up," which could refer to hanging out, texting, or talking on the phone.
Used to describe one's thoughts, desires, or feelings in a proclaiming, exclamatory manner. The opposite of "low-key."
A positive phrase that emphasizes how good something is. For example, "My coffee at home is good, but Starbucks hits different."
Something that is highly influential or unique, like works of art, artists, performers, etc.
I'm Dead (or just "Dead")
A reaction to someone being funny. A replacement for LMAO.
"It's the _____ for me!"
A phrase used for joking insults back and forth between friends. E.g., Person 1: "It's the unibrow for me!" Person 2: "It's the 'never being able to keep a boyfriend' for me!"
Leaving Someone on Read / Leaving Somone on Opened
A cold shoulder. Refers to opening a message and not responding, while the sender can see that you opened it.
Let's Get This Bread!
A pep talk expression similar to "Let's do this! We got this, guys!" (Editor's Note: Has absolutely NOTHING to do with bread.)
When something is amazing or popping.
Used to describe one's thoughts, desires, or feelings in a subtle way.
Another way of saying "Me too; I can relate to that."
Used in lieu of "same here;" relatable; summing up one's life.
A deflection; basically the modern version of "I know you are, but what am I?"
A phrase used to express joking disbelief at what was just said. E.g., Person 1: "She has a really bad unibrow." Person 2, laughing: "Not the unibrow!"
A bit controversial with the elder generations, this one is Generation Z's dismissive response to suggestions from anybody older. E.g.: "You should get a checkbook for your bank account." "OK Boomer." (insert eyeroll 🙄)
The same as "yikes." When you don’t really care but should at least say something.
Period / Periodt / Perioddddd
A form of emphasis at the end of a phrase; often used as a "call and response." E.g., Person 1: "I feel like I'm looking cute today!" Person 2: "Periodddd!"
Describes someone who is upset or irrationally angry. E.g., "It's not a big deal. Why are you pressed?"
A word that means to "get together with" someone of the opposite sex. E.g., "I can pull any girl I want."
Basically means to hang out, as if you're "pulling up" in front of their house. E.g., "Anybody want to pull up?"
Shocked or surprised in a positive way. E.g., "My cooking's so good! Gordon Ramsay is quaking."
Being upset over something little or inconvenient.
Short for "same here."
Today's version of "say no more." A term of agreement.
Someone who is trying too hard and doing too much for someone they like; usually has negative connotations. Can be used in a teasing manner toward friends, however.
Positive term for anything cool, but most frequently used to describe a good song: "That song really slaps."
Slide Into Their DMs
A phrase used to signify that one wants to send a flirtatious message over social media.
A private Instagram account or Snapchat story that only someone's closest friends can see; usually involves a lot of memes and stupid videos that they wouldn't want the entire public to see.
One's group of friends.
A "stalker fan." You're not just a fan; you're a huge fan on the verge of stalking (but not in a creepy way!).
Short for "suspicious." Is commonly used in the game "Among Us." E.g., When you see something "sus," you pull out your pepper spray.
Stands for "To be honest," but has evolved into a term of agreement. E.g.: "She's really rude." "TBH!"
The scoop or gossip. "Spill the tea."
Pleasantly plump; curvy in the right places (especially the butt or thighs).
A photo or video (specifically on TikTok or Instagram) meant to be sexy and enticing.
Describes someone who is desperate for attention from a romantic interest.
Upset, sad, or disgusted; has evolved from its original definition of being reminded of a negative situation.
A lighter term for "uncomfortable." For example, "Something about that song makes me uncomfy."
The vibe describes the overall mood of the situation; the "aura."
A quick check of the vibes and attitudes in any situation. Is a person chill? Is there a problem here? Are they going to kill the mood? You either pass or you fail the vibe check; there's no in between. For instance, Karen fails the vibe check. Coronavirus fails the vibe check. We were all vibin', having the time of our lives, and COVID-19 swooped in and killed it.
A verb that has a lot to do with enjoying music together. We vibin'! E.g.: "Hey, is the music okay?" "Yeah, we're vibin'!"
Negative term meaning "that sucks."
An exclamation that could be used in various situations—as a way to say "yes," to express excitement, to issue a battle cry, etc.—depending on context. Yeet is also used to accompany a throw.
*This list of Gen Z slang has been verified and approved by your local 17-year-olds.
Disclaimer: While this list is for the most part universal because of the internet, the usage of some phrases could vary depending on region and age group.
Well, what do you think?? Did we miss any? Let us know in the comments below.