Gen Z in Translation

A dictionary for understanding Gen Z

bae |bā|

noun significant other

Bae and I are going to Chipotle (*client) tonight.

basic /bāsik/

adjective lacking originality

Did you see her shirt? Everyone has it. It’s so basic.

bet /bet/

exclamation  The same as saying “sure” or “ok”

“We’re going to pick you up around 5:00.” “Alright, bet.”

blessup /blesəp/

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!

draking /drākiNG/

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.

extra /’ekstrə/

adjective to be excessive, over the top

You posted on Instagram twice today, you are sooooo extra.

facts /fakts/

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.”

fam /fam/

noun a close friend or actual family

It was good hanging out with you tonight, fam.

feels /fēls/

verb intense emotion

Watching Drake’s new music video really gave me the feels.

fire /ˈfī(ə)r/

adjective very cool

Did you see the new Nikes (*client) ? They’re straight fire.

FOMO /ˈfōmō/

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!

GOAT /ɡōt/

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.

hits (hits)

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!

lit /lit/

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.

mood /mo͞od/

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.

ngl /ngl/

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.

oof /oof/

exclamation a way of expressing sympathy for another’s situation

He told me that his mom grounded him for the next 12 months. Oof.

okurrr /ōˈkər/

exclamation popularized by Cardi B, it’s just another way of saying “okay.”

We’re going to lunch. Okurrr.

pressed /pres’t/

adjective stressed, annoyed, or overly concerned

I forgot my phone at home. I’m pressed.

salty /ˈsôltē/

adjective to be bitter or upset about something

My mom stopped paying for my Netflix subscription and I’m high key salty about this!

savage /ˈsavij/

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.

snapped /Snapped/

verb positively surpassing expectations

Chipotle’s (*client) Instagram really snapped this month!

snack /snack/

adjective describing someone as attractive

Did you see Ryan Gosling in that new movie? He looked like a snack.

snatched /snaCHd/

adjective referring to when one looks good or fierce

James Charles’ contour was looking snatched!

stan /stan/

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!

tbh /tbh/

phrase to be honest

TBH, I don’t love it.

tfw /tfw/

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.

wig /wig/

exclamation an exclamation uttered when something happens unexpectedly. Taken from the phrase, “wig snatched.”

“Idris Elba just followed me on Instagram!” “OMG, wig!”

woke /wōk/

verb to be socially aware

"Stay woke."

yeet! /yēt/

exclamation used to express excitement

“You ready to go to the concert tonight?” “Yeet!”