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65 Gen Z Slang Words That Will Help You Pass The Vibe Check (No Cap)

Photo: Primorac91 / shutterstock
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Just a few years ago, I thought it was funny how “older generations” didn’t understand the slang terms and phrases that came to the rest of us young Millennials so naturally.

Now in my 30s, I find myself drowning in new Gen Z slang words that pop up on endlessly every day.

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It seems I’m not alone, as a new I’m a Puzzle analysis found that people all across the country have spent time Googling the words Gen Zers use to find out what the heck they mean.

If you’re one of those people, don’t worry. We’ve got a complete list of the most-searched Gen Z terms and phrases and their definitions so you can seamlessly integrate them into your vocabulary without sounding too cringe.

65 Gen Z Slang Words and Their Meanings

1. @ Me / Don’t @ Me

Used on social media where users can tag each other, @ Me is used when someone feels attacked by another user’s post as a way to say “say it to my face,” while don’t @ me is used by someone who doesn’t care about what you have to say about their opinion.

2. Asl

A shortened version of “as hell.”

3. Bang 30s

To get in a physical fight with someone.

4. Beat Your Face

To apply makeup, especially heavy makeup that consists of using and blending a lot of products like concealer, foundation, and powder all over your face.

5. Bet

A response that means “OK” or “for sure.”

Photo: James Callahan

6. Big Mad

A phrase that means something has triggered you and you’re extremely mad about it.

7. Big Yikes

A phrase used when something is extra embarrassing or disturbing and a simple “yikes” just won’t do.

8. Boujee / Bougie

Boujee, sometimes spelled bougie, is shortened version of the old French word bourgeoisie or bourgeois used to describe someone or something high-class. While boujee is typically used for someone who is actually rich and chic, bougie is more of a mockery of someone who is trying to give off the image of being wealthy.

9. Bussin’

An adjective to describe something really good, especially food.

10. Cap / No Cap

Cap is a lie, and is often used by people to call others out for being dishonest. On the other hand, no cap means the truth, and can be used after you make a statement that seems unreal but is actually honest.

11. Catch These Hands

A phrase used to let someone know you want to fight them. For example, if you think someone is capping, you might say to them, "Do you wanna catch these hands?"

12. Cheugy

An adjective used to describe something that’s outdated or basic.

13. Clapback

A quick, strong, and witty response to an insult or criticism in reference to the way someone might clap their hands together in rhythm with your words.

14. Cringe

An adjective used to describe a situation that makes you feel secondhand embarrassment.

15. Deada$$

A word that means “seriously.” It can be used on its own to mean “I’m serious” or as an adverb.

Photo: James Callahan

16. Dc

A phrase meaning “dance credit,” often used on TikTok to give credit to creators who make up widely recreated dance routines.

17. Drag

To be called out for something. Also widely used as “dragged.”

18. Drip

A nice outfit, typically one complimented by jewelry.

19. Facts

A term used to let someone know you agree with them.

20. Fam

A shortened version of “family,” fam is used to describe people you trust the most, not necessarily always blood relatives.

21. Finna

A contraction of the phrase “fixing to,” meaning you’re getting ready to do something.

22. Finesse

To get away with something, especially using manipulation tactics.

23. Fit

A word used to describe someone’s outfit.

24. Flex

To brag or show off.

25. FOMO

An acronym for “fear of missing out,” especially when it comes to an event or party that you want to go to but can't.

Photo: James Callahan

26. FYP

An acronym for “‘for you’ page,” used primarily on TikTok as a hashtag that sends videos to the page that first comes up when you open the app.

27. Gas

To hype someone up or boost their confidence in some way. Also used as “gassed,” meaning you’re feeling good about yourself.

28. GOAT

An acronym for “greatest of all time.”

29. Go Off

A phrase used to validate someone after they do something extravagant. Also sometimes used as “but go off,” which is invalidating.

30. GRWM

GRWM is an acronym for “get ready with me” usually used on TikTok, YouTube and other social media to describe videos that show the vlogger’s routine for something such as makeup or preparing for an event.

31. Highkey / Lowkey

Highkey is a word meaning something meant to be secret that’s been made obvious, while lowkey describes something that’s on the down-low.

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32. I’m dead

The Gen Z version of ‘LOL’ or ‘LMAO’ that’s meant to describe something hilarious. Often represented by the skull or casket emoji instead of the actual phrase.

33. Issa bop

A phrase used to describe a song you like, especially when the song makes you bop your head or tap your foot to the beat.

34. IYKYK

An acronym for “if you know you know,” meaning that only people who’ve been through it will understand.

35. Jawn

This term originated in the greater Philadelphia area and means “thing,” literally referring to any object.

Photo: James Callahan

36. Karen

An adjective used to describe an entitled person who complains to get what they want, typically a middle-aged, out-of-touch white woman.

37. Love That For You/Me/Us

A mostly sarcastic phrase meaning you don’t care about something or are upset by something.

38. Mood

Mood or Big Mood is said in reference to something that’s relatable, often used as a way to say you get it and you agree with it.

39. OK Boomer

A dismissive response to the Baby Boomer generation that says you disagree with them but don’t have the energy to explain why because they probably wouldn’t understand anyway.

40. Periodt

Pronounced “piri it,” it’s used at the end of a statement or conversation to emphasize a point.

41. Pressed

An adjective meaning irritated.

42. Pushin P

Used with the ‘P’ emoji, this phrase means you’re keeping it real.

43. Ratio’d

When you reply to something on social media and your reply gets more engagement than the original post.

44. Salty

Salty is an adjective used to describe someone who is bitter.

45. Savage

An adjective for something or someone that’s fierce.

Photo: James Callahan

46. Shook / Shooketh

A word that means surprised.

47. Simp

The most-searched slang term in the U.S. in 2021, Simp is used to describe someone who goes out of their way to please the person they like. Depending on the context, it can either be a compliment or an insult.

48. Sis

Short for the word “sister,” this is a word used to boost someone’s confidence.

49. Slaps

Something that’s awesome. Often used to describe a song.

50. Slay

To impress.

51. Snack

An attractive person.

52. Snatched

Snatched is a term that originated in the LGBT community, as did many others, that refers to something that looks incredible.

53. Snatched My Wig

A phrase used to describe something that surprised you.

54. Stan

A term meaning an obsessed fan. A mashup of the words “stalker” and “fan,” Stan likely originated from the Eminem song of the same name about a fan named Stan who became obsessed with the rapper.

55. Sus

Sus is a term meaning suspicious or suspect that was popularized by the game Among Us.

Photo: James Callahan

56. Take the L

A phrase meaning accept your loss.

57. Tea

A word meaning gossip, often represented by the cup of tea emoji or GIF of Kermit the Frog drinking tea.

58. That Ain’t It

A response to something someone said or did that was meant to come off as cool but actually wasn’t.

59. Tfw

An acronym for the phrase “that feeling when…,” often followed by a photo or description of something and emphasized with an expressive GIF.

60. Vibe

The emotion or feeling that someone or something gives off.

61. Vibe Check

A phrase meaning you’re feeling someone out. Often used on TikTok as “passed the vibe check” to describe something favorable or “did not pass the vibe check” to describe something disappointing.

62. Woke

Woke is a term used to describe someone who is conscious of things going on in the world, especially things relating to social injustice. While it originated as something positive, it’s since been used negatively by some people as an insult meaning pretentious or overly sensitive.

63. Yeet

Yeet is a verb meaning to quickly throw something away. It is also sometimes used as an interjection of excitement.

64. Yt

An abbreviation meaning “white,” used to refer to white people. Often used on social media to prevent those talking about white people from having their posts deleted for violating community guidelines.

65. Zaddy

A zaddy is someone, typically a man, you think of as an attractive and stylish person.

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Micki Spollen is an editor, writer, and traveler. Follow her on Instagram and keep up with her travels on her website.

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