If you have heard a group of Gen Z talking and thought, “What does that word even mean?”, you are probably not part of the generation. You are either a millennial or older. Don’t worry—you are not alone and being old is a natural part of life.
Similar to the generations before them, Gen Z communicates with specific slang and phrases. It can be tough to figure out what they mean.
Here are some of the most common Gen Z slang terms you may not know.
It is a short term for “suspicious”, typically meaning that something is not as it may seem.
The word is used to describe a good or famous song or beat.
3. Ate that, left no crumbs
If you hear Gen Z saying, “She ate that and left no crumbs”, they are not talking about someone’s lunch. They mean that the person perfectly encapsulated the energy and executed the outfit or look.
4. Cap/No cap
It does not refer to someone wearing or not wearing a headcover. The term “cap” means something that is considered false, exaggerated, or an outright lie. On the other hand, the term “no cap” is equivalent to “honestly”, translating to “no lie”.
5. Throw/catch these hands
“Throwing hands” refers to starting a fight, typically used in a confrontational matter. Simultaneously, “catching hands” means getting violently attacked during a physical fight.
Public display and expression of affection or going above and beyond for someone make you a simp. However, it is used mostly when someone publicly pours their heart out for someone, whether they know the person or not.
7. Living rent free
It refers to not being able to stop thinking about someone or something. It is also used as an insult when someone is upset about something and cannot stop thinking about it. Something living rent free in your head can mean a good and a bad thing.
It refers to the act of getting exactly what you want by tricking or manipulating someone. Finessing your way through trouble or difficulty means manipulating throughout.
9. High key / low key
“Low key” refers to wanting or doing something without making it public or obvious to others. Meanwhile, the opposite of “low key” is “high way”, commonly used when you want to emphasize something.
10. Hits different
It is used to describe something that stands out from the rest or makes you feel different compared to other things.
11. Main character
The phrase is used to describe someone who seems to naturally have charismatic energy that draws people in. Someone described as a “main character” tends to be well-liked, confident, and knows that they are in control of their life. If a movie were to be made, they would be the main character.
“Period” means the point of the end of a sentence. It is used to say, “I meant what I said”. A more intense version of it is “periodt”. It is meant to add emphasis to the point being made.
13. Sending me
It is a phrase that is used to describe how funny you find something.
Something that “slaps” means something that has very strong positive impact and is great.
Someone who looks good-looking enough to be devoured is a “snack”.
The term “The Greatest of All Time” was used to describe the legendary boxer, Muhammad Ali. Hence, G.O.A.T. is an acronym used to describe someone who is incredible.
It is another word for someone who is a super fan, and sometimes, excessively enthusiastic about a celebrity’s work. The term originated from Eminem’s song “Stan.”
18. Spilling the tea
“Tea” is a word used to describe “gossip”. Hence, the phrase is used to mean discussing the gossip.
This term has two meanings. One is a word that is essentially an exclamation of approval or excitement. Meanwhile, the other is to describe a powerful throw.
Cheugy describes millennials who are trying too hard to be trendy or in style. It is a way where Gen Z makes fun of out-of-date millennial trends. Ahem.
With the rise of Instagram reels and Tiktoks, no generation has popularized lingo like Gen-Z. Though popularised, some of these are not new slangs, having their decades old origins in African American Vernacular English (AAVE).