top of page

What Gen Z Kids Are Really Saying

Gen Z kids these days have a totally different vocabulary than us "old" folks. So let's break down 23 common Gen Z terms into words we actually recognize. No cap.

Do you know a Gen Zer or have a Gen Z kid? I do in my family.

It's just crazy listening to Gen Zers talk to each other.

My 15-year-old nephew, a true Gen Z kid, has a completely different vocabulary with his friends than with me.

That's called code-switching, when you speak differently depending on what people you're talking with.

I don't understand everything my nephew says, so when I saw this sketch on Saturday Night Live the other night, I had to laugh.

I also tried out some of the new (to me) vocabulary on him, but I did it all wrong. How cringe. 😆

What slang in the video did you know already? And what do these Gen Z slang words actually mean?

Here are all the new Gen Z slang words I could catch.

Let's break them down.

  1. Bestie - best friend

  2. Bruh - brother, bro

  3. On read - A message you sent that you can see the other person has been read but hasn't responded to it yet

  4. Say less - Understood, no need to say more

  5. Big yikes - Wow

  6. Hellcat - Dodge Challenger Hellcat sportscar

  7. Deadass - seriously

  8. A real one - that person in your life who is always honest with you

  9. Cuh - Cousin, friend, bro

  10. The gram - Instagram

  11. Major L - a big setback or loss

  12. To cap - to lie

  13. To hit different - to feel different or to stand out

  14. Catch hands - about start a fight, a punch is about to be thrown

  15. On gang - to tell the truth, akin to saying "I swear to God" or "on my honor"

  16. To stan someone - a super fan of someone famous

  17. Flaw - an action or word that's morally wrong

  18. Iconic - a cool sense of style

  19. Cringe - not cool, embarrassing or disgusting

  20. Vibes - the feeling someone gives off, their emotional state

  21. The feels - an overwhelming emotional reaction

  22. To pull up - to hang out

  23. Sus - suspicious

If you want more Gen Z vocabulary, check out here and here.


Jackie Donaldson is a language teacher and pronunciation specialist at Amidon Studios. She founded Amidon Studios in 2017 after managing a language institute in Lima, Peru. She's taught English and Spanish to students from all over the world while living in Peru, Mexico, and the U.S. When she's not working or studying, you'll find her gardening, playing with her cat Frankie, swimming, and exploring the globe.

498 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page