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The Ultimate Guide to Gen Z Slang: 25 Words You Must Know

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Jun 30, 2023 Filed to: Learn Slangs Proven solutions

confusing slang words

If you use social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok, you have probably encountered some unknown phrases young people use. This new language has become increasingly popular in the Gen Z community — hence the term Gen Z slang — and others need help understanding the meaning of the invented phrases.

You are here because you want to find out what some of these phrases mean, and we are here to explain the most common slang Gen Z uses. Read on for an extra tip that will help you protect your Gen Z child on the internet if you see harmful phrases on their phone.

Part 1: What Is Gen Z Slang?

Generation Z consists of people born between the ’90s and 2010. Since this generation has grown up in the digital age, they have created new words to define specific actions, such as laughing loudly (LOL — laughing out loud). These new phrases help all Gen Z members communicate better online and convey many messages in as few characters as possible.

Moreover, this new digital language has affected other generations, such as millennials and boomers, who have also started using invented phrases in everyday speech. Some words have even made it to dictionaries, such as “yeet” and “FOMO.”

Let’s check out some of the most common phrases you can run across and how Gen Z uses them when texting.

Part 2: Top Gen Z Slang Words

There are thousands of new words and phrases, with more popping up each day. Below, you will see some slang words that will likely become evergreen.


In the Gen Z dictionary, a drip refers to how a person dresses. If you like someone’s style, you can say they have a drip, meaning they have dressed nicely. Youngsters also use this phrase in the hip-hop community to say someone wears a lot of jewelry items (mostly diamond jewelry).

how to use drip in texts

No Cap

No cap refers to factual information. For example, when checking TikTok hacks, some creators will use this phrase to emphasize that the hack in question works. Thus, you can use this phrase when you want to say something true and convince others that they shouldn’t doubt the received information.

how to use no cap in texts


Short for Chief Executive Officer, CEO can describe more than just this position. In Gen Z slang, CEO can refer to something or someone who is the best of the best. For example, if your friend makes extraordinary cocktails, you can say they are the CEO of that drink.

how to use ceo in texts


Fam is short for family, and youngsters use this term for both blood relatives and close friends. For example, you can refer to someone you have known your whole life as your “fam.”

how to use fam in texts

how to use fam in texts


Based can have multiple meanings in a text. It can represent an agreement; for example, when you see a political opinion online, you may see “based” in the post’s comments. It can also represent a person who is true to themselves and has a unique personality.

how to use based in texts

how to use based in texts


Although it generally has a negative meaning, “slay” is a compliment in the Gen Z community. It can mean “killing the look” or looking good in a social media post. Overall, slay represents something beautiful and impressive.

how to use slay in texts


Dank is a universal word representing something of high quality. It can be a superlative of “cool” because it can describe the coolest elements, items, and people.

how to use dank in texts


Vibing implies enjoying specific experiences and connecting with certain elements (mainly art forms), such as music or paintings. You can also vibe with people, indicating that your energies are on the same level and that you understand each other.

how to use vibing in text

[Video]Gen X Parents React And Decode Gen Z Slang


This phrase refers to a positive change, or an upgrade, in someone’s appearance. For example, if a friend has lost weight or looks healthier, you can say they had a glow-up.

how to use glow-up in texts


Ghosting refers to ignoring someone’s messages or calls while being online. For example, if you have seen a text but don’t want to respond, you are ghosting someone.

how to use ghosting in texts


Finna expresses an intention that will likely happen soon. It can replace “going to” or “will,” representing a plan for a particular action.

how to use finna in texts


This word describes something out-of-date in a joking manner. Chaugy will point to some outdated behaviors without the intention of humiliating someone.

how to use cheugy in texts


A clutch in the Gen Z dictionary refers to something or someone at the right place at the right time. This term comes from sports events but can apply to any situation.

how to use clutch in texts


Woke means being aware of the environment and having an opinion on the burning topics. It can also represent an intelligent, educated person.

how to use woke in texts

Hits Different

If you have had a unique, enjoyable experience, you can say that it “hit you different.” For example, sitting by the sea and eating homemade sandwiches just hits different after a long day at work.

how to use hits different in texts


Bet is also a term that refers to an agreement, but in most cases, Gen Z uses it to confirm plans. For example, if you plan to grab drinks with your best friend, you can say “bet” to verify that you are coming. It’s the abbreviated version of “you bet.”

how to use bet in texts

OK Boomer

Boomer refers to the generation of people born between the ’40s and ’60s. Thus, this phrase often criticizes outdated behavior or opinions while trying to imply that they don’t correspond with the modern era. However, Gen Z usually uses it in a joking manner.

how to use ok boomer in texts


It may sound that this word has a negative connotation, but that is not the case. When something “slaps,” it is an enjoyable experience. For example, you may hear a catchy song you like, and you can say it slaps.

how to use slaps in texts


Gen Z refers to low-profile, secretive emotions or intentions as low-key (often without the hyphen — lowkey). If you want to keep something a secret and not draw further attention to the topic, you can use the term “low-key.”

how to use low-key in texts


At first, “skrrt” was popular in hip-hop songs, imitating the sound of car tires and drifting. The phrase caught on, and now many young people use it to convey the feeling of speed.

how to use skrrt in texts


Simp refers to a person, usually a male, who is overly attentive regarding their relationship. Gen Z also uses this word in a joking manner; it doesn’t have the intention of provoking or criticizing someone.

how to use simp in texts

Living Rent-Free

If you cannot stop thinking about someone or something, you can say it is living in your mind rent-free. For example, you can hear a song that you keep repeating in your head; thus, it is living in your head rent-free.

how to use living rent-free in texts


Don’t be insulted if someone calls you a goat; it has a positive connotation. The Greatest of All Time, or GOAT, means someone is the best in the world.

how to use goat in texts


If you doubt something or someone, you can say they are suspicious or sus. T“Among Us,” a game where you must vote out the impostor, popularized this term. Since the game’s boom, young people have used “sus” to point to impostor behavior.

how to use sus in texts


Yikes represents an uncomfortable, surprising feeling or disgust a particular action online provokes. For example, you can see someone taking an ice-cold bath and think to yourself: “Yikes.”

how to use yikes in texts

Part 3: How to Ensure Your Gen Z Kid Isn’t Exposed to Explicit Content Online

how to use yikes in texts

Not all the slang words in the Gen Z dictionary have a positive connotation, and some can indicate serious issues. For example, someone may pick on your child using slang you don’t understand. To gain complete control of your kid’s activity on the internet and protect them from possible dangers, you should use a parental control app such as Wondershare FamiSafe.

This program will allow you to monitor your child’s behavior online, reduce screen time, block certain content, filter the web, and even track your child’s location. With this parental control app, you can allow your child to browse the web safely, protecting them from the dangers of the internet.

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Generation Z is genuinely magnificent and one of the most intelligent generations. They have been exposed to the digital world since they were practically in diapers, so they have created their own Gen Z world with a new language.

The slang words above are only some you must know to understand your Gen Z child or friend. However, you should also ensure they are safe on the internet. To achieve that, you should use Wondershare FamiSafe, one of the best parental control apps on the market.

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Joanne Croft

staff Editor