What Does Sus Mean?

Words by
Morgan Wilcock

MAR 26, 2024

What Does Sus Mean?

“You’re acting pretty sus right now, Mom,” your teenager says as you try to sneak their unwrapped birthday present into the house. But what are they saying? 

The word “sus” is floating around social media, and as parents, we may hear it in our own homes. But what does this word mean? 

Sus Meaning

What does sus mean? The word “sus” is an abbreviation of suspicious or suspect. It simply means suspicious or untrustworthy. Kids use it to describe a person or situation that they’re wary of, or that they want to draw attention to for its strangeness.

A “sus” person may be lying or hiding something, or they could just be acting out of their norm. 

Where Did Sus Come From?

The term “Sus” has actually been around since the 1960s but recently grew in popularity with the online game Among Us — a multiplayer murder mystery game that requires players to figure out who among them is the murderer, or “imposter,” before it’s too late. Players began using the short term to describe those that they felt were acting suspiciously and who could possibly be the imposter. 

Unexpected Connotations of Sus

While this term may seem mostly innocuous, the word can sometimes be used to carry sexual connotations.

“Sus” is often used on social media as a way to describe someone who is acting erotic or seductive. Just a simple search of “sus” on Tiktok will yield hundreds of thousands of videos, ranging from sexually suggestive to pornographic. These videos are mostly of young women, but boys may be featured as well.  

Sus is also sometimes used to describe someone’s behavior as homoerotic, and it is most often associated with boys. This usage carries the same connotation as the phrase “no homo,” which sprang from 1990s hop hop and is often used by boys and men to assert that an affectionate statement or action had no homosexual implications.

sus graphic

Again, most uses of sus are likely to be harmless. But if you are worried that your child is using it in a way that may lead to bullying or carry inappropriate sexual implications, consider having a conversation with them.

You might discuss sexual content and pornography on the internet, as well as how they can be more kind and understanding to those around them. 

Examples of Sus

Here are some uses of the word sus in action!

  • “Derek was acting kind of sus today. Do you think he has a crush on me?” 
  • “I don’t know, man, it was pretty sus when you hid your phone so fast. Are you hiding something?”
  • “You seem pretty sus right now. Are you the imposter?”

What do you think?

Do you still have questions? Let us know in the comments. And check out our full Gen Z Slang Guide for more insight on unfamiliar words your kids may be using.


  • Is Among Us Safe for Kids? The Answer is Sus on Apr 10, 2024 04:24 PM

    […] fun of for being new to the game, making mistakes, asking questions, or accusing others of being sus (a slang term for suspicious, popularly used to identify the […]

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