gen z phrases

40+ Gen-Z Phrases Parents Need to Know Right Now

(Inside: Gen-Z phrases every parent should know. This generation’s making up their own language, and it’s fun. Join in knowing these words…)

If there’s one thing we should be impressed by with this Gen-Z group, it’s their success in making up and maintaining their own language.

I am in awe of it.

I suppose social media helps them spread the word with the new words they come up with. Still, I’ve got mad respect for how many phrases this generation has made their own that have held. These kids really do share a unique language.

Between my high school classroom and three teens at home, I’m constantly asking, “What does that mean?”

Their answers have surprised me and made me laugh so many times that I started writing down phrases I heard and their meanings.

I hope I got these all right. In my corner of the world, here’s what Gen-Z is saying, and the phrases parents need to know to communicate with our young people…

40+ Gen-Z Phrases Every Parent Needs to Know

1. Sus – Short for suspicious.

“That’s sus.”

2. No cap – Means no lie.

“I got an A, no cap.”

3. Big yikes – Means something shocking.

“It was $100, big yikes.”

4. Fam – Family or close friends.

‘I’m going with my fam.”

5. Bougie – Means fancy or high class.

“Look at you with your nails done – bougie.”

6. Ghosting – To stop communicating.

“I reached out to him, but he ghosted me.”

7. Boomer – the older generation. (Gen-Z cannot be told that it actually means the generation that came after WWII. To them, it means older in general.”

“She didn’t understand; she’s a boomer.”

8. Doing the most – Trying harder than most, but it’s not necessarily seen as good.

“He always gets As. He’s always doing the most.”

9. Salty – Jealous, irritated, or angry

“He was salty about the nosebleed seats.”

10. Sell’in – Holding the team or group back.

“In the game, he was sell’in.”

11. Bet – Means yes.

Are we going? Bet.”

12. “W” or “L” – Short for “win” or “lose.”

“Have to do chores? That’s an L.

13. I’m dead – Means hilarious.

“That story was great. I’m dead.”

14. Glow up – Growing up in a positive way.

“He had a glow up – looks great.”

15. Try hard – Being an overachiever.

“He finished the whole book – try hard.”

16. Tea – Means gossip.

“She spilled the tea.” or “I listened to the tea.”

17. Slap – Means something good or that works.

“These cookies, they all slap.”

18. Fan – When you look like someone’s groupie but in a negative way.

“I was walking in the hallway with my friend group and, somehow, I got pushed to the back, so I looked like I was fanning them.”

19. Predicted – Someone figured you out.

“You thought you’d win your bracket, but you got predicted.”

20. Grind – Get after it.

“You better go grind your ACT prep.”

21. Cooking up – Putting together or preparing.

“He’s cooking up some strategies for Fortnite.”

22. Out of pocket – Means wild.

“The reaction was so out of pocket.”

23. Jump scare – Spooked us or surprised us.

“You jumpscared us with that first math problem on the test. It was hard. We thought the whole test would be hard.”

24. Buss’in – Means that’s awesome.

“That fried chicken is buss’in.”

25. Cringe – Yucky, gross, don’t go it again.

“The way she told the story was cringe.”

26. Drip – Confidence, fashionable, polished.

“She looked good in her drip.”

27. Extra – Going above and beyond, being highly opinionated, or over-the-top in some area.

“I don’t know about her opinion – she’s kinda extra.”

28. Bruh or Bro – How you address someone who’s a friend. Short for “brother.”

“Bro. It didn’t happen like that. Let me tell you the story.”

29. Mid – Means average.

“I thought the movie was mid.”

29. Riz- Means able to attract someone romantically.

“She always has all the guys interested. She’s got riz.”

30. Gold – Really good.

“Your words were perfect. Gold.”

31. Ate that or ate this/that up – Means the person accomplished something extremely well.

“Did you hear his song? He ate that right up.”

32. Hit – Landed just right.

“These fries hit.”

33. Lowkey – Something subdued or muted.

“I admit, I’m lowkey excited about my grade.”

33. Boutta pull up – Means about to arrive.

“I’m boutta pull up to your house.”

34. Fire – Something’s really good or hot.

“Your shoes are fire.”

35. Quiet Quitting – Doing the bare minimum signalling you’re about to quit.

“I’m quiet quitting my job because I hate it.”

36. Touch grass – Get off screens and go outside.

“This project is too much…I need to touch grass.”

37. Vibes check – Checking in on the emotional state of your friend or environment.

“I walked into the room and did a vibes check.”

38. Side eye – Something’s off or weird.

“After what she said, I had to give her the side eye.”

39. Dogs – means feet.

“My dogs are out.” (For example, you just took off your shoes.)

40. Simping – You’re ditching your friend group for someone you’re interested in or want to impress. You’re doing what someone else wants you to do.

“You’re going to the movies with your boyfriend tonight instead of hanging out with us? You’re such a simp.”

41. Jank – means whack or weird.

“That outfit is so jank.”

42. Slay – Do really well.

“You slayed that speech today in class.”

43. Cheugy – You can tell they tried hard, but it just isn’t quite right. Miss the mark.

“The actor is so cheugy.”

43. Pop out – Come to the event. Show up.

“I feel good about my track meet. Hopefully, you can pop out.”

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Gen-Z Phrases