Teen Slang: Decoding Gen Z

Words by
Jackie Baucom

MAY 17, 2023

Teen Slang: Decoding Gen Z

As a parent, you’ve probably overheard some slang from your kid. They may say things like, “I’m amped about my drip today,” or, “He’s got rizz. Giving off major BDE.” Maybe they’ve said something like, “No cap, this sandwich is bussin’,” or, “Spill the tea, sis!” 

The lingo our kids use every day may be incomprehensible to us, but these words actually have meaning— some we may know, and some we can understand from the context of the conversation. 

There are also slang words spoken by our kids that as parents we can be pretty clueless about. Some of these words are made up, shortened, or said as acronyms. Some slang terms are everyday words but hold different meanings.

We’ve come up with a list of popular slang words to help parents better understand their kids and their friends. This list is not comprehensive. Our team will add more words as we collect them and slang trends emerge. 

scrabble pieces showing slang words on pink acronyms

It’s important to note that slang terms can vary widely based on location, culture, and generation, and some may have different meanings or connotations depending on the context.


Amped – Excited

I’m amped for the concert tonight!


Bae – Boyfriend or girlfriend.

Wait, bae is calling me.

Basic – Someone who is unoriginal and only interested in popular, trending things.

She’s so basic with her pumpkin spice latte.

BBG – An acronym that stands for baby girl, describing something or someone cute. It can also stand for: Better be going, a polite way to end a conversation. 

I love that dress on you bbg!

Bbg, I have soccer practice.

BDE – An acronym that stands for: Big dick energy, someone who is secure and exudes confidence without arrogance.

I knew she would get the internship—she has major BDE!

Bet – In agreement with something, or used for okay or affirmative.

Person 1: Want to come over to my house?

Person 2: Bet!

Boujee – Rich, luxurious, fancy.

You grew up going to this boujee country club? 

Bussin’ Something is really good.

This burrito is bussin’! I’m definitely coming back here.


Cap – Lying or faking.

I actually went to class today. No cap.

Cash – Awesome or cool.

That new movie is so cash!

Cray cray – Short for crazy.

I’ve been so busy this week, it’s cray cray!


Dank – Excellent, high quality.

The party last night was dank!

Dap – A gesture of greeting or expression of admiration between two people performed with hands, similar to a low-five and handshake.

That was sick! Dap me up!

Dip – To leave suddenly or early.

I’m about to dip.

DL – An acronym that stands for: Down low, referring to an activity or information that is meant to be kept discreet.

We’ve been talking, but we’re keeping it on the DL for now.

Dope Something that is exceptional or awesome.

That bike is dope!

Dox – To seek out and publish private information online about someone, usually with malicious intentions. 

Jennifer got doxed after getting in a fight with someone during an online game, now her address and phone number are all over social media.

Drip – Sophisticated or stylish in appearance.

You got drip with those new shoes.

Dub – Short for W, meaning win or winner.

We took the dub.


Extra – Attention grabbing or dramatic.

I didn’t invite her, she’s too extra.


Facts – Agreed.

Person 1: Social media is overrated.

Person 2: Facts.

Faded – Being under the influence of marijuana.

You should have seen her last night, she was so faded.

Fan service –  Elements added to an entertainment piece that is a subtle nod to avid fans, like an inside joke that other viewers won’t understand. Also known as easter eggs.

If you’re a Marvel fan you’ll love this episode. It has a ton of fan service.

FFA – Free for all, in a multi-player video game all players must fend for themselves.

I wish we could play in teams and not FFA.

Fire –  Amazing or exciting.

That waterslide is fire!

Flavored air – Vaping.

He always has flavored air.

Flex – To flaunt or brag about something.

He’s flexing with those kicks.

FML – F**k my life, often used at the conclusion of a negative story.

I missed the bus this morning so I had to walk all the way to school. FML.

FR – An acronym that means: For real, to agree with someone.

Person 1: The homework was so hard.

Person 2: FR.

FTW – An acronym that means: For the win. An enthusiastic emphasis to express approval or support.

I just tried the best Thai restaurant. Mango sticky rice FTW!

Fugly – F***ing ugly, or extremely ugly.

I can’t believe I wore that! It’s so fugly.

Furry – A person who is a fan of anthropomorphic animals (animals with human characteristics), or someone who dresses up to resemble the animal.

He’s got a fursuit—he’s a legit furry.

FYP – Refers to TikTok’s “For You Page” that’s filled with recommended content and videos personalized for the viewer.

My FYP had the weirdest feed today.


Ghost – Cutting off communication with someone with no explanation.

We went on a date, and then he ghosted me.

GG – An acronym that stands for: Good game, used to acknowledge a player’s skill at the end of multiplayer video games.

GG! We should play again sometime.

Giving me life – Something or someone that is exciting.

This warm weather is giving me life!

Glow-up – A major transformation in appearance in a way that is generally perceived as attractive.

She had a glow-up. She looks great!

GOAT – An acronym that stands for: Greatest of all time, praising someone for being the best.

My coach is the GOAT!

Granola – A person who is environmentally aware, and enjoys the outdoors.

You’ll probably run into her on a hike. She’s a granola.

Gucci – Fancy, fashionable, or excellent.

Person 1: I’ll pick you up in 10. 

Person 2: Gucci.


Hammered – Extremely intoxicated from alcohol or drugs.

He was so hammered we had to take him to the E.R.

Heated – Angry or frustrated.

He got heated when he thought I took his ball.

Heem – A better version of something, the total package.

The new boy is heem!

Here for this – Excited about something, showing support.

You’re an amazing artist. I’m here for this.

Hits different – Something that is special, unique, or causes a strong emotional reaction that is difficult to articulate.

My mom’s cooking just hits different.

Hot take A strongly worded and often controversial opinion on a current event or popular topic.

I watched the new superhero movie. The cast was amazing, but the storyline was sketch. That’s my hot take for the day.

Hype – Excited, or something is good.

This song is so hype!


ICYMI – An acronym that stands for: In case you missed it.

ICYMI, I’m headed to Cal State this fall!

IYKYK – An acronym that stands for: If you know, you know. Indicates insider knowledge or a shared experience between a group of people.

The ski trip was wild! IYKYK.


KDA – An acronym that stands for: Kills/Deaths/Assists, a tally of how many kills, deaths, and assists a gamer has in a game.

Your KDA was dope this game.

Krunk – Extremely intoxicated with a mixture of alcohol and drugs.

He got krunk last night.


L – Loss, loser.

He took the L.

LFG – An acronym that stands for: Let’s f**king go, excited for an upcoming event or competition.

I’m cheering on my team tonight. LFG!

Lit – Exciting, excellent, or intoxicated.

The movie was lit!

LMAO – An acronym that stands for: Laughing my a** off, indicates something is funny.

Remember when I fell going up the stairs? LMAO!

LMS – An acronym that stands for: Like my status, used on social media asking for viewers to like the content.

LMS to enter the giveaway.

LOLAn acronym that stands for: Laugh out loud, expressing amusement at something.

LOL at your ostrich video!


Mad – Really, extremely, or crazy.

It’s mad hot outside.

Mid – Average or not great.

That show was mid.

Munch – A person who performs oral sex on a woman.

I don’t want to date him, he’s a munch.


Netflix and chill – A euphemism for hooking up.

I asked Ricky if he wanted to Netflix and chill, and he actually came ready with popcorn. lol

NGL – An acronym that stands for: Not gonna lie, admitting something honestly and openly.

A lot of people didn’t like the movie, but ngl, I loved it.


OMG – An acronym that stands for: Oh my gosh/God, indicates something is shocking or surprising.

omg, I can’t believe you just said that!

OML – An acronym that stands for: Oh my Lord, an exclamation of surprise or excitement.

oml, you scared me!

OMW – An acronym that stands for: On my way, a way to indicate a person is en route.

OMW! I’ll be there in 20.

ONG – On God, a way to show strong agreement with something, similar to “I swear to God.”

I just saw them kissing! ong

On fleek – Perfectly done, exactly right, excellent.

Your make up is on fleek.

On point – Perfect, exactly right. 

His outfit is on point.

Only in Ohio – Used to label things that are strange or cursed.

Why are there rats on the train? Only in Ohio.


Pressed – Feeling annoyed or stressed about something.

Why are you so pressed?

Pulling – To attract attention from romantic interests.

I saw him pull at least five girls at the party.

Put on blast – To embarrass someone publicly over social media by denouncing or exposing them.

He was put on blast for breaking up with her over a text.

Pwn – To have power over someone or something.

That math test just pwned me!



Rad – Awesome, or very good.

This view is rad.

Ratchet – Someone who is out of control, or tacky.

I’m so sick of these ratchet girls coming over.

Read – Publicly pointing out someone’s flaws.

We don’t hang out anymore, he was always reading me.

Rent free – Obsessing over someone or something, living inside someone’s head.

What he said to me still lives in my head rent free.

Rizz – The ability to seduce or charm a potential love interest.

That boy has so much rizz, he hasn’t been single since elementary school.

RPG – An acronym that stands for: Role-playing game, a genre of games where the player controls a character and explores an imaginary world. 

She’s really into RPG.


Salty – Upset, resentful, or irritated. 

He was salty after losing, so I told him to leave the game.

Savage – A fierce or bold person.

He’s savage on the court.

Sending me – Response to a funny text message, expressing extreme amusement.

lollll that panda meme is sending me!

Shade – Subtle contempt or disgust for someone.

Did she just throw shade at me?

Ship – To support the romantic relationship between two people.

I totally ship Timothee Chalamet and Kylie Jenner.

Shook – Shocked or surprised.

She actually did the assignment. I’m shook!

Sick – Cool or awesome.

Did you see that tackle? That was sick!

Simp – Someone who is desperate for affection or romantic relationships.

Dude, you’re being such a simp

Slap – Amazing or excellent.

This song slaps!

Slay – Doing something extremely well.

You slayed your dance recital!

Small dick energy – Someone who is insecure, but acts overly confident to compensate.

I would never date him. He has small dick energy.

Smash – To have casual sex with someone or to hook up.

I love that actor! I would totally smash him.

Smut – Sexually explicit written content like romance novels or some fanfiction. 

That book is just smut.

Snatched – Perfect, attractive.

She was looking snatched at the dance.

Sneaky link – A secret hookup or relationship.

She was my sneaky link last year.

SO – An acronym that stands for: Shout out, a public expression of greeting, praise, or acknowledgement directed towards a person. It is also known for Significant Other.

SO to Sophie for taking this picture of me.

Stan – A mixture of stalker and fan, someone who is obsessed with a person.

I used to stan him so bad in junior high.

Stoked – Very Excited

I was so stoked he invited me.

Sus – Suspicious, suspect.

Are you hiding something? You’ve been acting super sus lately. This originates from the game Among Us.

Swerve – To go out of one’s way to avoid someone.

I swerved when I saw my ex.


Tea – Gossiping about something.

Sarah will know about that, just ask her. She loves to spill the tea.

TFW – An acronym that stands for: That feeling when, used to describe an emotionally charged experience.

TFW you cozy up with a hot chocolate watching the snowfall outside.

Thirsty – Someone who is desperate or eager for attention, approval, or sex.

He followed my Instagram account and immediately liked all my posts. He’s so thirsty.

Thirst Trap – A sexually provocative photo, video, or comment posted on social media, often with the intention of receiving attention from viewers. 

All he posts are thirst traps on Tiktok.

Totes – Short for totally, completely.

She was totes out of line for saying that.


Understood the assignment – When someone goes above and beyond.

This was the best birthday ever! You definitely understood the assignment.


Vanilla – Ordinary, boring, lacking special features.

I tried having a conversation with him, but he’s so vanilla.

Vibe – A feeling, an ambience.

I love your whole vibe.

VSCO girl – (pronounced visco), A young, usually white, girl who is adorned in trendy things and posts pictures edited on the VSCO app. 

She’s wearing an oversized t-shirt, Birks, and has a huge Hydro Flask. She’s definitely trying to be a VSCO girl.


W – Win, Winner.

Our team took the W.

Wallflower – An introvert, someone who avoids the limelight and is more comfortable standing on the sidelines of an activity.

She’s always been a wallflower at school dances.

Woke – Someone who is aware of important facts, and racial and social injustices. 

I used to be ignorant of what was happening around me, but now I’m woke.




mother and daughter laughing as they look at her smartphone

Parents Can Better Support Kids Through Slang

All kids want love and attention from their parents in real life, even if they don’t always seem like they do. When we take the time to learn about the way our children speak, it shows kids that we prioritize our relationship and communication.

We can use appropriate slang words once in a while to make our kids laugh. Use it correctly, or not—kids will appreciate the effort. NGL, our teens may roll their eyes and call us thirsty, but we all know deep down they think we’re fire.

What is your experience with teen slang? Share your stories in the comments!


  • James on Jul 05, 2023 09:05 AM

    I appreciate what your doing here, but teaching our kids to speak correct grammar is a good idea too.

  • Gabb on Jul 05, 2023 02:30 PM

    We agree!

  • Texas Mom on Jul 05, 2023 08:19 PM

    This is soo helpful thank you soo much for the updates! We appreciate the extra support!

  • Gabb on Jul 10, 2023 09:06 AM

    Of course! We are glad to hear that you find this helpful!

  • Kara on Jul 11, 2023 02:38 PM

    Thanks for these! I've heard many of them, but some are new. You need to add SMH, I have to google it every time I hear it LOL

  • Gabb on Jul 12, 2023 12:53 PM

    Glad that you found these helpful! Thank you for sharing!

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