Don’t be basic; simply learn the Gen Z slang and you’ll be totes* Gucci.

It seems that every few years or so, new hip terms and lingo enter our lives, and we’re forced to either adapt and learn the slang or be stuck in our ways and feel disconnected from everything and everybody. And like previous generations, the kids of Gen Z — those born between 1996 and 2010 — have come up with their own slang, much of it tied into the media culture they’ve grown up with.

So, we’ve looked far and wide for the best Gen Z slang around the internet (and talked to our local teens as well) and compiled the most-used Gen Z terms into this comprehensive guide in order to help you get a better grasp on the lingo. You’re welcome.

Adulting
“Adult” has moved from a noun to a verb. It refers to moments or actions that appear mature or grown-up.

Bae
Acronym for “before anyone/anything else.” Used to describe one’s significant other.

Basic
Refers to someone who is unoriginal and only follows mainstream trends.

Bet
Slang for “fa sho,” which is slang for “for sure.” Originally a shortened version of “Wanna bet?”, the use has expanded.

Bruh
Gender-neutral term for a friend; can be used in disgust or excitement.

Can’t Even
An expression that denotes various emotional responses when a person can’t comprehend what was said or what’s happening. Used on blogging sites like Tumblr.

Chill
The new way of saying cool. “He’s not uptight; he’s pretty chill.”

Cringy
Something that makes one cringe.

Curve
To reject someone’s direct (or, at times, indirect) sexual advances. You essentially “curve them.”

Deets
Short for “details.” Typically gossip.

Dope
Means “cool.”

Extra
Over the top or excessive. Someone who is exhibiting dramatic behavior.

Fam
Used to describe those you consider family.

Finsta
Short for “fake Instagram.” Typically used for memes, inside jokes, etc.

Fire
Describes something that is really good or cool.

Get Outta My Lobby
Means “get away from me.” Originally from the Fortnight game.

Glow-Up
A transformation of one’s appearance, usually from unattractive to very attractive.

Goals
A term used to describe what someone wants in their life (i.e., “Couple goals, squad goals”).

Gucci
Comes from the high-end fashion brand. Another way to say “good,” “chill,” or “awesome.”

HMU
An acronym for “hit me up,” which could refer to hanging out, texting, or talking on the phone.

High-Key
Used to describe one’s thoughts, desires, or feelings in a proclaiming, exclamatory manner. The opposite of “low-key.”

Iconic
Something that is highly influential or unique, like works of art, artists, performers, etc.

I’m Dead (or just “Dead”)
A reaction to someone being funny. A replacement for LMAO.

Ligma
An internet meme-derived made-up disease that people frequently reference as a joke. “Why isn’t he in school today? He probably has Ligma.”

Lit
When something is amazing or popping.

Low-Key
Used to describe one’s thoughts, desires, or feelings in a subtle way.

Me
Another way of saying “Me too; I can relate to that.”

Mood
Used in lieu of “same here;” relatable; summing up one’s life.

No U
A deflection; basically the modern version of “I know you are, but what am I?”

On Fleek
Describes perfection. “Her eyebrows are ‘on fleek.'”

Oof
The same as “yikes.” When you don’t really care but should at least say something.

OTP
Stands for “One True Pairing;” your favorite “ship” (see Ship definition below).

Peeps
Short for “people.”

Roast
An insult, or to insult someone.

Salty
Being upset over something little or inconvenient.

Same
Short for “same here.”

Ship
When a third person wants two other people to be in a relationship — or supports an existing relationship.

Shook
Another way to say you’re shocked or surprised.

Shots Fired
Used by a third party in response to two people arguing or insulting one another.

Slay
Another way to say you “killed it” or succeeded in something.

Slide Into Their DMs
A phrase used to signify that one wants to send a flirtatious message over social media.

Smol
Extremely small and cute; or, extremely large and cute in an ironic way. Basically, just cute.

Snacc
An attractive person; someone that looks so good that you want to eat them for a snack. Related: The phrase “full-course meal” was derived from “snacc” — it refers to an upgrade.

Squad
One’s group of friends.

Suh
Means “what’s up?”.

Tea
The scoop or gossip. “Spill the tea.”

Thicc
Pleasantly plump; curvy in the right places.

Thirsty
Describes someone who is desperate for attention from a romantic interest.

Triggered
Upset, sad, or disgusted; has evolved from its original definition of being reminded of a negative situation.

Wig
When something happens so unexpectedly that your wig flies off your head; blown away.

Woke
Describes someone who’s deep or intellectually enlightened.

Yaaasss
Used when someone is expressing a ton of excitement over something, or another way to say “yes.”

Yeet
An exclamation that could be used in various situations — as a way to say “yes,” to express excitement, to issue a battle cry, etc. — depending on context. Yeet is also used to accompany a throw.

*Since the initial writing of this article, we have been informed by our Gen Z peeps/squad that “totes” is not actually a term currently used by Generation Z. Our bad. (Specifically, we were told that our use of “totes” was “cringy.”)

**This list of Gen Z slang has been verified and approved by your local 15-year-olds.

Well, what do you think?? Did we miss any? Let us know in the comments below.

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