Gen Z in Translation
A dictionary for understanding Gen Z
noun significant other
Bae and I are going to Chipotle (*client) tonight.
adjective lacking originality
Did you see her shirt? Everyone has it. It’s so basic.
exclamation The same as saying “sure” or “ok”
“We’re going to pick you up around 5:00.” “Alright, bet.”
adjective grateful. Originated from DJ Khaled
Ordered a tall cold brew and they accidentally gave me a grande! Blessup.
canceled /ˈkansəled /
verb to dismiss someone or to make someone irrelevant
Anybody that doesn’t like Drake’s last album is canceled.
dead /ded /
adjective used to describe one’s state when something is extremely hilarious
Did you see that new parody video? I’m dead!
verb used to describe when one is feeling emotional or listening to emotional music. It is in reference to Drake’s emotive sound and style of music.
Tonight is going to be filled with chocolates, Netflix, and draking.
adjective to be excessive, over the top
You posted on Instagram twice today, you are sooooo extra.
exclamation a response one gives when they are in agreement. Can also be used to state something factual
“Chipotle’s (*client) honey vinaigrette makes the burrito so flavorful!” “Honestly, facts.”
noun a close friend or actual family
It was good hanging out with you tonight, fam.
verb intense emotion
Watching Drake’s new music video really gave me the feels.
adjective very cool
Did you see the new Nikes (*client) ? They’re straight fire.
noun (fear of missing out), anxiety caused by not participating in a social event
I’m so upset I couldn’t make it to that party last night, I had such FOMO.
glow up /ɡlō əp/
verb to describe someone who became attractive when they grew up. Usually to signify a stark transformation
Did you see Kelly last week? She had a serious glow up!
noun Acronym: greatest of all time.
Originated from Muhammed Ali’s quote of being the greatest of all time and popularized as an acronym by LL Cool J’s eighth studio album in 2000, called G.O.A.T.
Thanks for dropping me off! You’re the GOAT.
high key /hī kē/
adjective very evident, obvious, or well-known
I’m going to the Bahamas for the first time. I’m high key stoked for these pics on the ‘Gram.
adjective describing something that hits the spot, typically used to positively describe food
Yo, this Chipotle (*client) hits.
verb (hit me up) contact me via cell phone
Can’t talk right now but hmu later!
adjective very fun, exciting
So excited that it’s Friday, this weekend is going to be lit.
low key /ˈlō ˈˌkē/
adjective to be modest or underrated
She low key is an amazing singer. I had no idea!
major key /ˈmājər ˈkē/
phrase making an essential point or emphasizing something important. A term originating from DJ Khaled
Color coordinating our outfits for the party tonight is major key.
phrase a word to agree upon a mutual feeling or to describe one’s own feeling about a certain situation. Typically accompanied with a video or photo on social media
Cardi B sipping a mojito in a bathtub filled with money is a mood.
acronym not gonna lie
I looked really good in that dress, ngl.
No smoke /nō smōk/
phrase Trouble. Conflict.
He was ready to fight me but I told him that I wanted no smoke.
exclamation a way of expressing sympathy for another’s situation
He told me that his mom grounded him for the next 12 months. Oof.
exclamation popularized by Cardi B, it’s just another way of saying “okay.”
We’re going to lunch. Okurrr.
adjective stressed, annoyed, or overly concerned
I forgot my phone at home. I’m pressed.
adjective to be bitter or upset about something
My mom stopped paying for my Netflix subscription and I’m high key salty about this!
adjective one who doesn’t care about the consequences of their actions
Kiki aced her art history final and she hasn’t studied once this year. She’s savage!
secure the bag /səˈkyo͝or T͟Hē baɡ/
phrase the act of trying to accomplish something one values
Anybody have advice on getting a first round interview? Trying to secure the bag in 2019.
verb positively surpassing expectations
Chipotle’s (*client) Instagram really snapped this month!
adjective describing someone as attractive
Did you see Ryan Gosling in that new movie? He looked like a snack.
adjective referring to when one looks good or fierce
James Charles’ contour was looking snatched!
verb A portmanteau of stalker and fan, referring to someone who one idolizes or is obsessed about something or someone.
I think it’s safe to say that anybody that doesn’t stan Beyoncé is cancelled.
szn /ˈsēzən /
noun season, something on-trend
It’s getting colder so you know that means it’s sweater szn!
tap in /tap in/
verb to contact someone via text or call. Similar to hit me up.
A phrase that originated from Sacramento, CA and popularized by the rapper Mozzy.
Nice to meet you bro, tap in with me!
phrase to be honest
TBH, I don’t love it.
phrase that feeling when
That feeling when everyone leaves work early.
throwing shade /THrōiNG/ /SHād/
verb to insult someone discreetly.
I don’t understand why he was throwing so much shade. I did nothing wrong.
exclamation an exclamation uttered when something happens unexpectedly. Taken from the phrase, “wig snatched.”
“Idris Elba just followed me on Instagram!” “OMG, wig!”
verb to be socially aware
exclamation used to express excitement
“You ready to go to the concert tonight?” “Yeet!”