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ABC’s of Speaking Gen Z



Ever heard your kids describe your Instagram as cringe? Your nephew says something is dope? Or had your babysitter say that a picture is mood? More than likely all of these individuals are between the ages of 12 - 23, in other words, part of what is known as Generation Z.


With every generation comes hip, new language and lingo that one either needs to understand or be deemed ‘old’! Like previous generations, Gen Z has their own playbook of terms, most as a result of growing up online especially on our mobile phones and constantly texting.


A word of caution using Gen Z slang can be a major ‘fail’, if it doesn’t fit with your company’s brand. For some businesses who don’t understand their consumers, using these terms in a social post in an attempt to make a superficial connection can easily backfire. The younger generation often will perceive that your brand is trying too hard to be cool, not authentic or just plain ridiculous. Similarly, it can be equally as bad when your own 50-year-old dad decides to say goals or uses the hashtag #mood!


To help you stay current in the new year, THINK GEN Z has created a glossary to help you navigate the fast-changing world of the common terms and popular lingo by our network of Gen Z’eders.



ADULTING - acting grown up

BASIC - mainstream, trendy

BARE – a lot (Toronto slang)

CRINGE – bad

DOPE - really cool

DRAKING - behaving emotionally

DANK – really good

EXTRA - over-the-top

FAIL - anything not a win

FAM – people you consider family

FIRE – something really good

GUCCI– good, chill or awesome

GLOW UP - from ugly to stunning

G.O.A.T. – greatest of all time

GHOST – ignore someone purposefully or never look at their Instagram

HMU – hit me up, hanging out texting

HYPEBEAST – someone who collects fancy clothing to impress others

IRL – in real life

ILY – I love you

JOKES or JKS – funny times

K - okay LIT – amazing, cool

LOW KEY - saying something that is secretive

MOOD – relatable, summing up one’s life

MOVE – big party

MOTIVE – frequent partying for snapchat stories

NAH – no

NVM – never mind ON FLEEK – looking perfect PEEPS – people or Think Gen Z’s co-founder! QUEEN – rocking life, beautiful girl ROAST – insult someone SALTY - rude, angry

SHOOK - shocked, amazed

SIS – close friend, sister in spirit

TEA – spill the gossip

THROWING SHADE – insult

TURNT – excited about an upcoming event

UNI – university

WDYM - what do you mean W.O.A.T. – worst of all time

YAASS - to express excitement

YEET – yes

Z’EDERS – Think Gen Z’s network!


Want to test your next social media post, marketing strategy or ad campaign with our network of Gen Z’eders? Contact THINK GEN Z, we can provide you with honest and authentic feedback to ensure that your company isn’t a FAIL!

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