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A Guide to New Teen Slang and Gen Z Slang Trends

Learn the meaning of Gen Z slang and the latest TikTok trends and phrases that are popular with teens today with our Gen Z slang guide.
The Newest Teen Slang Trends
Updated: February 9, 2024

Does Gen Z have their own secret language or are you just old? ​

It often seems like teenagers' sole mission is to reject the way their parents do things, from fashion to music to how they use the English language. 

Teen slang words are a constantly evolving dictionary that makes anyone above age 22 feel like they woke up in a foreign land.

But this stage too shall pass, and in the meantime, parents of Gen Zers don't need to feel clueless each time their adolescent starts to speak. (Yeet? Fleek? Help!)

If you've just recently deciphered omg, lol, and tbh, or you finally figured out why everyone loathes a Karen, I hate to break it to you, Boomer, but your slang needs a major refresh.

You can safely bet your teens will continue to roll their eyes nearly every time you speak, but proper use of these new slang words and slang phrases will earn you at least grudging respect.

Although I wouldn't go around speaking like a TikTok teen at the office... that just majorly cringes. Rather than spend hours scrolling through the confusion and horror that's often found in the depths of Urban Dictionary, let's take a look at the latest popular sayings and definitions in the Gen Z slang words dictionary right here!

Multicultural female friends having a good time
Photo Source: Getty Images


Finding a particular “aesthetic” or style is a big trend among teens on social media, and is often used as another way that Gen Z experiments with their style and self-expression. 

Someone’s aesthetic can refer to their fashion, music taste, bedroom decor preferences, general vibe, or interests. Some popular aesthetics of the 2020s include Y2K, E-girl/E-boy, Dark Academia, Downtown Girl, and many, many more!


Teens today are busy–sometimes too busy even for spaces, as evidenced by this mashup abbreviation of "Am I right?" 

This word often doesn't require a response and is meant to emphasize something that both parties agree on. "The weekend could not get here sooner, amirite."


Many teens use this term to refer to a person they are in a romantic relationship with or to refer to a best friend. Some millennial friends may use it as an acronym for “Before Anyone Else.” Others may use it in the form of one of the many new words created from African-American vernacular English. In this form, it’s derived from the pronunciation of “babe” as a term for a loved one.


This is an easy one. Bestie generally refers to a best friend. However, Gen Z tends to use this term more loosely to address anyone—even strangers if they admire something about them. “Bestie” will often just serve as a friendly greeting.

Big Mad

This is another way of saying that you are extremely mad about something. A teen might say, “I am big mad that our teacher gave us a pop quiz in math class today!”

Big Yikes

Big yikes takes regular yikes to a new level. You use it when you’re so embarrassed that “yikes” doesn’t do it justice.

Example: “How do you think you did in the test? Big yikes?” “Big Yikes” (Urban Dictionary)

Where it came from: Etymonline says "exclamation of alarm or surprise, by 1953; perhaps from yoicks, a call in fox-hunting, attested from c. 1770."

Uses in pop culture: This term is a play on yikes which has been popularly used in the Scooby Doo TV episodes.


I'll avoid literally spelling it out for you, but just imagine two more letters in the middle and you'll get the picture. Although sometimes used as a term of endearment among friends, you usually don't want to be labeled a bih.


A bop refers to a good song/beat. Example: “Listen to this new KPop song—it's a bop!” For danceable, upbeat songs, “banger” is often frequently used.


Boujee is a shortened version of the French word bourgeoisie and is used to refer to something high-class, fancy, or expensive. Oftentimes this is used as a bit of a mocking term for someone with expensive taste or who is trying to give off the impression that they’re wealthy.


Bussin is used among teens to refer to anything that is very good/positive. Example: “That party on Saturday was bussin!”

This current use has garnered some criticism as, like with a lot of popular Gen Z slang, the term was originally used in African American Vernacular English (AAVE) particularly to refer to amazing food/meals. Some feel that this widespread use of the word has altered its original meaning.

Bye Felicia

Bye Felicia is a term that is used when you are saying goodbye to someone or something that is leaving, yet no one really cares that they are leaving. It can also be used in the same way older folks might use the term “good riddance.” For example, when referring to the lingering COVID-19 pandemic, you might be tempted to say, “Bye Felicia!”

Cap/No Cap

Cap is a term referring to something fake/not authentic. Therefore, no cap refers to being real, authentic, and truthful.

According to Urban Dictionary, “The phrase originated in reference to decorative gold teeth, which can be divided into two distinct varieties: permanent gold teeth (aka "perms") or caps (aka "pullouts").

Whereas caps can be pulled out with ease, perms, as their name suggests, are permanent. They cannot be taken out for a job interview or court date. They are an honest and lasting expression of the owners' realness.”

Cancel Culture

Cancel culture is a form of online shaming to express disappointment in the views or actions of a public figure, company, or organization. It is a way that Gen Z is using their voices on social media, often for the good. Like with many things these days, irreparable damage can be done to someone’s reputation based on false information or rumor.

Example: “That company is making such bad choices for the environment. They are canceled in my book.”

Where it came from: The roots of cancel culture have been present throughout history, but it has been accelerated in recent years thanks to the predominance of social media.

Uses in pop culture: Twitter users utilized cancel culture to condemn Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling after she made anti-trans comments.


Breaker, breaker. This one may take you back to the walkie-talkie days of your youth. CD9 stands for Code 9 as in, “Can’t talk! My parents are here!”


When someone is the “CEO of” something, it means they are the very best at it or have mastered it.

Example: “You’re the CEO of video game reviews.”


Cheugy means the opposite of trendy.

Example: “My friend told me to change out of my favorite pair of Miss Me jeans because they were cheugy.” (Urban Dictionary)

Where it came from: It was coined by Gaby Rasson, a software developer in Los Angeles who started using the word back in 2013 while attending Beverly Hills High School.

Uses in pop culture: This term is often used on TikTok.


A clapback refers to a strong or witty response to someone’s insult or attack. Hitting someone with a good clapback often shows someone is winning in an argument and has a better, more biting retort ready to counter their original point or criticism.


A term used for when someone is extremely embarrassing or awkward.

Example: “That guy won’t stop and is so cringe!”

Where it came from: It comes from the act of cringing in response to embarrassing things.

Uses in pop culture: Cringe comedy is a genre focused on socially awkward situations.


This is slang for rejecting someone romantically or sidestepping their advances. You might see a post from your teen that references ignoring a girlfriend’s text with the following hashtag: #curve


Dank is slang for something that is excellent and very high quality.

Example: “Dude.. that is a DANK emblem!” (Urban Dictionary)

Where it came from: In the 1980s, dank emerged as slang for something excellent.

Uses in pop culture: “According to Know Your Meme, one notable early instance of the phrase featured the so-called Gnome Child (a character from the online game Runescape) with the caption: 'born just in time to browse dank memes.' Another shows a baby dressed as a police officer writing a ticket, with the caption “ur getting a ticket sir that meme wasn’t dank enough.” (

Diamond Hands

Diamond hands refers to the state of hanging on to a situation that carries extreme financial risk. For example, “Even though it was risky, my bae has diamond hands. She held on to her bitcoin investment until she made back $25,000.”


An abbreviation for direct messages.

Example: “I have so many dms on Insta that I can’t even keep up.”

Where it came from: This term originated from Instagram in 2013.

Uses in pop culture: This term is often used in dating app culture discussions.

Don’t Yuck My Yum

The phrase "don't yuck my yum" is a playful reminder to respect others' preferences, and not just in the context of food. It suggests that one should refrain from expressing disgust or negativity towards something that someone else enjoys.


In slang terms, drip is a synonym for style, particularly the fashionable or sexy kind. If millennials had swag, Generation Z has drip.

E-Boy or E-Girl

E-boys and E-girls use the internet to express themselves and are similar to being semi-emo or goth.

Example: “Those e-girls are all about sad boy music.”

Where it came from: They are a youth subculture that emerged in the 2010s. They came from “electronic boy” and “electronic girl”.

Uses in pop culture: There is a Japanese girl group called E-girls.


This is another way of saying that someone or something is too much or over the top. An example might be: “She is so extra. She talks about Karen non-stop.” Extra can also be used in a self-deprecating way.


Fam is used the way older generations may have used “bro” to refer to close friends who feel like family. Teens often will greet friends with a “Hey, fam!”

Fauci Ouchie

It didn't take long during the coronavirus pandemic for vaccine-related slang to enter the English language (vaxxed, Hot Vax Summer, and Rona, to name a few). A Fauci Ouchie refers to the COVID-19 vaccine with a reference to public health expert and proponent of vaccines, Dr. Anthony Fauci.


“Finna” refers to trying to do something or preparing to do something. The slang term comes from the phrase “fixing to.”

Example: “I’m finna to get a good part-time job this summer so I can finally buy a PS5.”


Think of these two as opposite ends of the cool spectrum. Something wonderful is fire, while something terrible is trash. In other words, it's like Grease versus Grease 2.


When teenagers use this word, they're usually not talking about someone who's been hitting the gym. Instead, fit is short for outfit.

Example: "That fit is on point! Do you have a hot date or something?"


This American slang word tends to be used by younger teens. It’s another way of saying “on point” as in, “You'd never believe it, but that shy kid from bio class has dance moves that are on fleek!”


Flex is the new way to say "show off." An easy way to remember this one is to picture someone flexing their muscles. Your teen might say: “She is trying to flex all over finsta today since she received another college acceptance letter.”


FOMO is the acronym for “fear of missing out.” This is a state of anxiety that can plague anyone from tweens to parents.


If you ghost someone, it means you suddenly start ignoring something. This usually happens in the phase of early dating over text.

Example: “We were texting so much but then he totally ghosted me.”

Where it came from: It originated in the early 2000s, typically referring to dating and romantic relationships.

Uses in pop culture: This term is often used in discussions about dating apps.


Glow-up describes a makeover or transformation from bad to good in some way. If you think a new haircut makes you more attractive, you might refer to this as a “glow-up.”

Example: “She has really had a glow-up since the last time I saw her!” (Urban Dictionary)

Where it came from: It can be traced back to August 2013 when rapper Chief Keef dropped "Gotta Glo Up One Day."

Uses in pop culture: Many glow-up videos now go viral on YouTube.


When something inspires aspirational envy, or two things go together extremely well, the reaction is, "Goals." 

Example: "Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds' marriage is goals." Another example: "Parents keeping up with their teenager's lingo for more than a month? Goals."


This stands for "Get Ready With Me". It's a popular type of content on social media platforms, especially, TikTok, YouTubes and Instagram, where influencers share their beauty or fashion routines as they prepare for their day or a particular event.


It's still a prominent luxury Italian fashion brand, but for most teens, gucci is synonymous with good, cool, or fine (as in, "it's all gucci).


The term “Heather” may be confusing to the older generations, especially those Gen X-ers who grew up with the 1980s cult-classic film “Heathers” where the titular Heathers referred to a group of popular, mean girls.

However, in Gen Z Slang and on TikTok the term “Heather” has been applied to mean the exact opposite. Someone who is a “Heather” is considered a beautiful, admirable person who everyone wants to be like. The term was likely inspired by Gen Z artist Conan Gray’s song “Heather” about a girl who was the object of affection of his crush.


High-key is the opposite of being low-key. It can also be spelled without the hyphen.

Example: “I high-key want to be at that party right now!”

Where it came from: Rapper Styles P used the line "low-key or high-key" on a Young Roddy track in September 2013.

Uses in pop culture: The artist Drake is credited with pushing the term into the mainstream.

Hits Different

When something hits different, it is significantly better than usual, as in, "A nap on a cold, rainy afternoon just hits different."


A hypebeast is someone who cares too much about things that are popular rather than being more of an individual.

Example: “Look at him, he’s head to toe with Gucci. Must be a hardcore hypebeast.”

Where it came from: The term has its roots in the history of streetwear.

Uses in pop culture: In 2005, sneaker enthusiast and college student Kevin Ma created a website to document his fashion interests. He chose to call it Hypebeast after the slang term for a trend-chaser. (

I’m Baby

Feeling helpless or not capable in a certain area of your life? You might want to try the Gen Z term “I’m baby.”

Example: “You can’t be mad at me because I’m baby.” (Urban Dictionary)

Where it came from: It originated in 2017 on Tumblr.

Uses in pop culture: The I’m baby meme has gone viral.

I’m Dead

This is one you may have noticed in many of BuzzFeed’s “article” headlines. "I’m dead" refers to the fact that your teen is laughing so hard about something that she is dying of laughter.

It’s the “X” for Me

It's the __ for me is a versatile Gen Z phrase that emphasizes a particular aspect of someone’s appearance or behavior that either caught their interest in a positive or repulsive way. 

For example, if a teen debuts a great new makeup look before a date, their friends may respond “It’s the red lipstick for me.”

Alternatively, when mocking or complaining about something like an unfair teacher, you could use this phrase like “it’s the yelling at 6 am on a Tuesday for me...”


If you know what this one stands for, you know. (See what I did there?) Often used on social media alongside more obscure TV show or movie references, or to caption an otherwise unlabeled photo.


This was probably one of the most popular slang words of the past two years, and it was one that even parents seemed to jump on using. This is a term typically used for a middle-aged white woman who seems to be personally offended by almost any solution that another person comes up with. The Internet has seen many a meme dedicated to “Karens” across the U.S.


L is the opposite of the vague slang “W.” You use it to reference a loss as opposed to the win of “W.”

Example: “We tried really hard in the game but still caught an L.”

Where it came from: It comes from the world of rap, where it started on rap battle scorecards but was soon used in the music as it's easier to rhyme with than “loss”. (

Uses in pop culture: L is used in rap battles on scorecards.


Lewk is the term for something that is your very own personal signature style. If you wear a certain kind of something every day, that would be your “lewk.”

Example: “I don’t usually like bangs, but I like them on her. It’s her lewk” (Urban Dictionary)

Where it came from: It’s a respelling of the word look.

Uses in pop culture: The term was popularized around 2010 by fashion stylist Brad Goreski on the reality television series The Rachel Zoe Project.

Lit or GOAT

These are two different ways to express what you might have meant by saying "dope" or "neat" or "cool" back in the day. Lit or GOAT (which stands for “greatest of all time”) means something happened that is really, really good.

Group of university student friends
Photo Source: Getty Images

Lives Rent-Free

Saying that someone or something “lives rent-free” in your mind describes when you can’t stop thinking or obsessing about a particular person or situation, even though they likely aren’t thinking about you. 

Describing holding onto grudges, resentments, or anxieties as letting them “live rent-free” emphasizes that these thoughts are only harming yourself and taking away from your well-being.


When your teen wants to express a feeling or desire without coming on too strong, she may add the adjective low-key or lowkey to help downplay it. 

Example: "They're announcing who made varsity today, and I'm low-key freaking out," or, "He's low-key cute, but I'm keeping my options open." (Predictably, high-key means the exact opposite.)


This is an acronym used in texting, and it’s something we almost never would have had a reason to say as kids - unless we were hand-writing letters to pen pals via snail mail. LMIRL means Let’s Meet In Real Life. Hopefully, this person is not a creeper, to use another teen slang word.

Main Character/Main Character Syndrome

Trying to be the main character or having main character syndrome refers to someone who behaves as if they are always the protagonist in life events. Someone with main character syndrome may come off as self-centered or self-obsessed, regularly dramatizing or romanticizing everyday problems or events in their lives to make them sound more exciting or important.


Mid is a shortened slang term for “middle” that refers to something that is just okay, average or unimpressive.

Example: “I was really excited to watch the “Euphoria” finale but it was pretty mid and unexciting, what a letdown.”


The term mittens got after the publication of countless Bernie Sanders' mittens memes in 2021. It’s a descriptive term for something that was not quite amazing, but not bad either. For example, “I didn’t ace the test, but I didn’t fail it either. I guess it was mittens.”


Moods are something your teenager has in bulk. But when it comes to Gen Z slang, mood refers to something the speaker can relate to or agree with. For example, after a tough day, your teen might post a photo of a screaming toddler with the caption "Mood" to express solidarity.


Mutuals, sometimes shorted to moots, are two people who follow each other and interact on social media. It's a common word on TikTok and other platforms to refer to internet friends.


Pronounced "mook-bong," this form of entertainment originated in South Korea and features live footage of someone eating large amounts of food. 

Its popularity gained steam on YouTube during the coronavirus (or "rona," to your teen) pandemic, and many fans find the videos and their accompanying eating noises comforting and relaxing.

No Cap

This term conveys being real, authentic, and truthful.

Example: “I would only get perms because people who wear pullouts are fake, no cap.” (Urban Dictionary)

Where it came from: According to Urban Dictionary, “The phrase originated in reference to decorative gold teeth, which can be divided into two distinct varieties: permanent gold teeth (aka "perms") or caps (aka "pullouts"). Whereas caps can be pulled out with ease, perms, as their name suggests, are permanent. They cannot be taken out for a job interview or court date. They are an honest and lasting expression of the owners' realness.”

Uses in pop culture: No cap is a popular phrase in hip-hop music.


This stands for "Outfit Of The Day". It's commonly used on social media by fashion bloggers or influencers who share their daily outfits with their followers. They often use the hashtag #OOTD when posting these photos.


An opp (short for opponent) is an enemy or competitor, someone who is working against you in some way. The next time you deny your teen's request for cash or an outing on a school night, you might find yourself in the opp category.

Out of Pocket

When someone is acting out of pocket, they are behaving inappropriately or making offensive or disrespectful remarks.

Example: "Did you hear what he said to her? That was so out of pocket."

Where it came from: This phrase likely originated from the term "out of line," meaning someone stepped over a boundary or behaved in an unacceptable way.

Uses in pop culture: This phrase is commonly used in hip-hop music and has gained popularity on social media. It also inspired the popular hashtag #OOTD (Out of Pocket of The Day) where people share ridiculous or unacceptable behavior witnessed in public.  In general, out of pocket can be used as an adjective or adverb to describe something that is not appropriate or acceptable. 


A funny purposeful misspelling of “period.” Periodt is used to emphasize that a statement is final/the conversation is definitively over.

Example: “I’ll win this fight any day of the week, easily. Periodt!”

Pick Me

The Pick Me or Pick Me Girl trend blew up on TikTok in 2022 starting many conversations about feminism and female friendships A Pick Me Girl or someone with Pick Me energy refers to a girl who tries to present herself as “not like other girls” in order to impress boys.

Pick me girls will often put down traditionally girly hobbies/interests and claim they prefer to be friends with men over women because girls are “too much drama.”


I’m not going to use profanity, but I bet POS means a phrase in your mind that starts with the words piece of… Today, POS is a quick acronym for texting or messaging that means Parents Over Shoulder. So if you see this one, maybe you should stay near your teen for a few minutes longer.


If you feel salty, it means that you are jealous.

Example: “I feel so salty when I see those two together.”

Where it came from: It was first used around 1920 for sailors who were thought to be tough and aggressive.

Uses in pop culture: Salty has reemerged as a term thanks to hip hop, video gaming, and general youth usage.


The exact meaning may vary, but savage, like dope or fierce, is definitely a compliment. A teen may call their friend savage for a particularly well-done insult or retort. Doing something savage shows bravery or a total lack of care/fear.

As Megan Thee Stallion and Beyonce taught us, anyone or anything savage refers to something extremely cool and unbothered.


Sheesh is a pretty explanatory term that even parents may already be familiar with. Teens often exclaim “sheesh” to express that they are impressed or in a state of disbelief or exasperation.


If your teen says “I’m shook” or “I’m shooketh” about something, they are shocked, surprised or overwhelmed. Shook can both be used positively to express awe or negatively to express fear or anxiety.

Example: “Omg I can’t believe my sister surprised me with tickets to Taylor Swift for my birthday! I was so shook!”


A simp is a derogatory Gen Z term for someone (often a man but not exclusively) who is seen as desperate or doing too much for the attention/affection of someone they like. 

Simps or white knights are generally seen as people who constantly do favors, compliment and try to impress the object of their affection, even when that affection is unrequited.

Sip Tea

Sip tea is a phrase that is used when you are just sitting back and listening to the gossip as opposed to participating in it.

Example: “What did you two do last night?""sip tea" (Urban Dictionary)

Where it came from: Sip tea was coined in 2018 as an alternative to "Spill the tea," which encourages people to share gossip.

Uses in pop culture: The term originated and is still used in black drag culture.


When a relationship is more than friends but less than a couple, it might be a situationship. Think of it as the modern counterpart to the old Facebook relationship status option, "It's complicated."


As you might guess if something slaps, it’s a hit! Slaps is used among teens to describe something really great.

Example: “The beat on this new single totally slaps!”


Slay is a way to say someone looks amazing or did an excellent job at something. One friend might tell another: “Girl, you slayed in that game! I can’t believe how many points you scored.”

Sleep On

To sleep on something is to overlook its importance or value. "Don't sleep on that new guidance counselor; I heard she used to be a backup dancer for Doja Cat."


A snack is a term you might use to describe a person that you find attractive.

Example: “Look at that snack over there. She looks good!”

Where it came from: It emerged in the 2000s and was on Twitter by 2009.

Uses in pop culture: You will often find this work on social media spelled as "snacc."


When you're looking your best, your teen might grace you with the compliment "snatched," or particularly stylish. Savor it, because moments like this don't come around often. Snatched is another Gen Z slang term that originated with AAVE, particularly in the Black drag community to refer to the outfits and appearances of drag queens.

Spill the Tea

If you hear your teen asking a friend to “spill the tea,” it means that they want to hear the latest gossip or story. Your teen might say, “Spill the tea! I want to hear what happened after you left the party.”


Stan combines the words “stalker” and “fan.” A stan is an obsessive fan of something but not on a creepy level. 

The “stan”  term originates from the Eminem song “Stan” about an obsessive fan of Eminem who wrote him letters about wanting to kidnap him. Today, stan is often used in a less negative context to declare yourself a super fan of a specific artist or celebrity.


When someone has “steez,” it means they have an effortless style. A true compliment.

Example: “This dude doesn't even have enough steez to get his facts right.” (Urban Dictionary)

Where it came from: The term was originally from the song "Shadowboxin" by GZA and Method Man.

Uses in pop culture: This term has been further sampled in other rap songs since then.

Straight Fire

Straight fire is otherwise known as "on the up and up" or better than all of the rest. It can also mean hot. Not as in temperature, but as in “That’s hot!” expressed in a positive way.


Sus or Sussy is an increasingly popular alternative Gen Z slang term that is a shortened version of “suspicious.” It entered the mainstream thanks to the video game “Among Us” and now refers to anyone or anything that seems a


The term "swerve" in teen slang conveys a sense of avoidance or a directive to steer clear of someone or something. It's a dismissive expression akin to saying "get out of the way" or "leave me alone," often used by teens to indicate that they are not interested in someone's advances or to sidestep an unwelcome situation.

Take Several Seats

If someone is being extremely annoying, you might tell them to “take several seats.”

Example: “After watching her friend raise her hand to answer every question, she muttered take several seats under her breath.”

Where it came from: This term is derived from the phrase "have a seat."

Uses in pop culture: This term was used in Black gay ballroom culture.


To be honest.

Example: “TBH I think you are amazing.”

Where it came from: TBH appeared as early as 1991.

Uses in pop culture: TBH, rate, and date is a social-media prompt in which someone requests friends’ opinions of them. (


TFW is an abbreviation for “that feeling when.”

Example: “TFW you have a hot cup of coffee in a quiet house.”

Where it came from: It was possibly developed from the earlier meme "I Know That Feel Bro," which depicted simply drawn characters hugging each other in empathy.

Uses in pop culture: The term is often used ironically when people are over-exaggerating on social media.


Short for "turned up," this term can mean really excited, wild, or under the influence of alcohol or drugs. A person, a party or even a video game can be turnt.

Vibe Check

The vibe is the general mood, atmosphere, or aesthetic of a person or situation. A “vibe check” is generally used as a way to survey the overall aura of a person or group. The phrase “passing the vibe check” is a compliment to someone who seems like a good or chill person.

Example: "The new kid let me use their charger this morning when I left mine on the bus and complimented my hair. They definitely pass the vibe check.”


Gen Z can be so mysterious that sometimes, they only use a single letter to express something. “Win” can be too many letters to type, so you can just use “W.”

Example: “I didn’t oversleep today, so that is a W.”

Where it came from: It’s an abbreviated term for the word win.

Uses in pop culture: It most likely came from young people typing as quickly as possible in text messages.


Whip is another word for car.

Example: “That is one nice whip you’ve got there. Is it a BMW?”

Where it came from: This is actually a reference to the history of cars when steering wheels were first introduced and called whips.

Uses in pop culture: Hip Hop artists first started using this term to reference Mercedes-Benz vehicles.


“Wig” is something you can say to express admiration for something when it is so exciting to you that your wig might be blown off.

Example #1: “I got free tickets to Katy Perry's show!”Reply: “No way omg WIG!” (Urban Dictionary)

Where it came from: It started as a piece of African-American Vernacular English (AAVE) and then became a commonly used slang term by the hands of pop music fans online who began using it as a complementary response to their favorite artists.

Uses in pop culture: Katy Perry famously used the term wig on American Idol.


Woke refers to political awareness. People who are woke are not politically incorrect.

Example: “Yeah most people don't care about parking spaces for families with disabled pets. I wish they were woke like me.” (Urban Dictionary)

Where it came from: “Stay woke” emerged from African American vernacular back in the 1930s.

Uses in pop culture: References to woke people are made when they care about having an open mind and things like the earth, Black Lives Matter, and feminism.


An acronym for "Where you at?" that's usually used in text messages. Feel free to use it the next time your teen breaks curfew: "WYA, get home NOW."


To yassify something or someone is to glam them up until they're almost unrecognizable. It originally referred to influencers' common use of beauty filters on social media, but in late 2021 a YassifyBot account popped up on Twitter and began churning out images of famous faces (think Michelle Obama or Severus Snape) digitally enhanced until they look like Bratz dolls.


To throw something away with high velocity.

Example: “Alex finishes his soda and proceeds to yeet his empty can into a trash bin.” (Urban Dictionary)

Where it came from: The term goes back to Urban Dictionary in 2008 as a way to express excitement.

Uses in pop culture: In 2014, there was a dance move called Yeet that gained popularity on Vine and YouTube.


According to Urban Dictionary, “Zaddy” is a term generally used for put-together and attractive men who are seen as being incredibly stylish. This term is not exclusive to older men but instead can be used for anyone who gives off an air of swagger and confidence.


Zillennials (or Zennials) are a group born right on the cusp of the millennial and Generation Z generational divide. These individuals are generally classified as being born between 1992-1998 and relate strongly to both millennial and Gen Z stereotypes.


This Gen Z slang term refers to the people themselves! Zoomers are the generation born after the millennials (also known as Generation Y). Gen Z’ers were born in the late 1990s/early-mid 2000s. The term zoomer is also seen as a spinoff of the term baby boomers, the generation born following World War II (between 1946 to 1964).

​In Conclusion: OMG, FYI, LOL

Modern teen slang constantly evolves, with new phrases and words emerging from various cultural pools, including social media, music, and internet memes. Understanding these terms can offer insight into the ever-changing landscape of teen communication. It can be important to understand some of the most popular and commonly used teen slang words and phrases, even if just to relate to the young people in your life!

Robin Enan

About Robin

Robin is a mom to 3 children and has been a freelance writer and blogger specializing in… Read more

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