Gen Z Slang Translator for Parents to Vibe with Teens (and Coworkers)

Understanding gen z slang can be more difficult than learning a new language.
Understanding gen z slang can be more difficult than learning a new language.

Bruh... if it feels like your tweens and teens speak a different language, it's time to brush up on your gen z slang. Trust us, you're not alone: When we asked readers and fellow parents to share which teen slang words and phrases baffle them, we seemed to have hit a nerve. Moms and dads across the country bombarded us with gen z slang words and terms they just don't understand, from "bet" and "bussin'" to "drip" and "no cap."

And, NGL: Texting your teen can get you even more shook, FR. Mind-boggling acronyms have made deciphering teens' text messages similar to solving a puzzle, TBH. IYKYK.

We're here to help with our list of 50 common gen z slang words and text acronyms to help you understand your teens. Once you've mastered the lingo, score even more cool points with our teen and tween gift guide and our list of over 100 ideas for college care packages. Will your teens appreciate it? Bet!


Gen Z Slang Words for Parents to Understand Their Teens

1. Bruh

Meaning: A form of "bro", "bruh" is commonly used to address a friend, family member, or stranger. It's also used to express disbelief, disgust, amazement, or shock.

Examples: "What's up, bruh?" or, Teen 1: "Check out my new Jordans." Teen 2: "Bruh!"

2. Bet

Meaning: "yes" or "OK"

Example: Teen 1: "Wanna come over?" Teen 2: "Bet."

3. Slay

Meaning: to do something really well

Example: "Slay!" (when your friend walks into the room wearing a nice outfit)

4. No Cap

Meaning: "No lie," or, "I'm being totally honest."

Example: "That was the best burger I've ever had, no cap."

5. Bussin'

Meaning: extremely good

Example: "That burger was bussin'."

6. Simp

Meaning: can be used as a noun or verb, meaning "someone who has a crush on someone" or "to have a crush on someone"

Examples: "He keeps staring at you. He's such a simp," or, "He's totally simping right now."

7. Mid

Meaning: mediocre or average

Example: "That movie was so mid. I don't see what the big deal is."

8. Drip

Meaning: nice style

Example: "Did you see her outfit today? She's got the drip."

RELATED: Tons of Totally Terrific Tongue Twisters for Kids, Tweens, and Teens

Do you have rizz? Your teen will likely say no. 

9. Rizz

Meaning: short for "charisma", meaning "charm" or "game"

Example: "I can't get her to notice me. I have no rizz."

10. Stan

Meaning: a combination of "stalker" and "fan" that can be used as a noun or verb, meaning "someone who is obsessed with someone/something" or "to be obsessed with someone/something"

Examples: "She's such a stan for T. Swift," or, "She stans T. Swift."

11. Sus

Meaning: short for "suspicious"

Example: "We have a math test and he's home sick. That's sus, bruh."

12. Fire

Meaning: really good, impressive

Example: "That song is fire."

13. Glaze

Meaning: a TikTok term meaning "to over-compliment or suck up to someone"

Example: Teen 1: "OMG your videos are bussin' and your shirt is fire and I love your hair." Teen 2: "Bruh, chill with the glazing."

14. Ate and left no crumbs

Meaning: performed better than anyone else; dominated

Example: "The team ate and left no crumbs at the homecoming game."

15. Facts

Meaning: "I agree."

Example: Teen 1: "This song is fire." Teen 2: "Facts."

16. It's not that deep.

Meaning: "Don't worry about it," or, "Chill out."

Example: "Bruh, who cares if you weren't invited. It's not that deep."

17. Vibe

Meaning: energy, feeling, or mood

Example: "I got a weird vibe from her."

18. It's giving.

Meaning: giving off a certain vibe 

Examples: "That dress is giving vintage."

RELATED: Best Teen Skincare and Pimple Patches Kids Are Obsessed With—From a Teen!

Brush up on your gen z slang so your kids won't think you're cringe. 

19. Cringe

Meaning: extremely embarrassing or awkward

Example: "He won't stop texting me. It's so cringe!"

20. Low-key

Meaning: refers to a feeling that one wants to keep on the down-low

Example: "I was low-key excited for the new Disney movie."

21. On God

Meaning: "I'm telling the truth."

Example: "I did not sleep at all last night, on God."

22. Slaps

Meaning: is really good

Example: "This song slaps so hard, I can't stop listening to it."

23. Touch Grass

Meaning: to go outside

Example: "All he does is play Fortnite all day. He needs to touch grass."

24. Finna

Meaning: short for "fixing to", meaning "going to"

Example: "I'm finna go to the mall."

RELATED: Gift Guide to the Best Gifts for Teens & Tweens

Beware: if you overdo it with the gen z slang, your teen will think you're extra.

25. Extra

Meaning: over-the-top, excessive, or dramatic in behavior or appearance

Example: "My little sister won't stop singing. She's so extra."

26. Basic

Meaning: unoriginal; mainstream

Example: "I don 't listen to her top hits. They're so basic. I like the more obscure stuff."

27. Selling/Sold

Meaning: messing/messed up in a big moment

Examples: "He's totally selling," or "He sold" (after someone strikes out in a baseball game).

28. Yeet

Meaning: to throw an item really hard

Examples: "Sam just yeeted my water bottle across the room," or, "YEET!" (said by Sam as he throws the water bottle). 

29. Cheugy

Meaning: not trendy

Example: "Mom, take off those skinny jeans! They're so cheugy!"

30. Hits different

Meaning: is much better than usual

Example: "I didn't have time to eat breakfast this morning, so this school lunch hits different."

RELATED: 111 Ideas for College Care Packages

Do we all want to understand our teens better? Yasssss!

31. Yas

Meaning: a very enthusiastic "yes"

Example: Teen 1: "Do you like Tyler?" Teen 2: "OMG, yassss!"

32. Shook

Meaning: shocked or surprised

Example: "I saw Mr. Jones in the mall with his girlfriend. I'm shook."

33. Salty

Meaning: upset over something small

Example: "I told her I didn't want to play Roblox. She was so salty about it."

34. Glow Up

Meaning: a physical, mental, and/or emotional makeover or transformation for the better

Example: "Did you see Emma? She had a real glow up over the summer."

35. Sheesh

Meaning: an exclamation used when someone is really impressed by something

Example: "Sheesh!" (when a nice sports car zooms by)

More Gen Z Slang: Teen Text Acronyms, Decoded

36. W and L

Short for: "win" and "loss"

Examples: W burger (when texting a photo of a juicy burger), or, Teen 1: I have a chemistry test today. Teen 2: L

37. FR

Short for: for real

Example: She likes you, FR.

38. NGL

Short for: not gonna lie

Example: This group chat is annoying, NGL.

39. IRL

Short for: in real life

Example: I love her YouTube so much. I'm dying to meet her IRL.

40. TBH

Short for: to be honest

Example: I really don't feel like going out tonight, TBH.

41. TFW

Short for: that feeling when

Example: TFW you have a three-day weekend

42. GTG/G2G

Short for: got to go

Example: GTG, my mom is calling me for dinner.

43. WYD

Short for: What're you doing?

Example: WYD? I'm bored.

44. NP

Short for: No problem.

Example: Teen 1: Thanks for helping me with the math homework. Teen 2: NP

Stay in the know of the latest teen texting acronyms.


Short for: If you know, you know. (used to reference an inside joke, often in a group chat)

Example: Nate was hilarious the other night. IYKYK.

46. RN

Short for: right now

Example: I'm so tired RN.

47. IKR

Short for: I know, right?

Example: Teen 1: I can't believe the weekend is already over. Teen 2: IKR

48. LMK

Short for: let me know

Example: LMK when you can call.

49. OFC

Short for: of course

Example: Teen 1: You going to the football game? Teen 2: OFC

50. V

Short for: very

Example: I'm V tired right now.

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