What is she saying?:: A Guide to Generation Z Slang

Five smiling teenagers.

Every generation has their own language or slang that identifies them one from the other. I’m a Gen X’er and my ’80s vernacular is still very much a part of my vocabulary. So much so that my kids actually use some of it themselves; but, it was the ’80s and, well, everyone loves the ’80s. Let’s take a stroll down memory lane, shall we?

No duh:: This was my favorite and it means “no kidding.”  If I’m honest, I’m still known to say this frequently.

Barf me out:: I never used this term. Not once. It means “gross” or “disgusting”. It’s actually worse than just saying gross or disgusting.

Have a cow:: Another favorite of mine, loosely translates to don’t get so angry or upset.

Phat:: I didn’t use this one much because it just didn’t feel right.  You know, fat vs. phat?  Just not for me, but phat means “excellent.”

Now that I’m a mom, most of my education on current slang comes through my continually on trend younger children.  This also means that quite often, I have absolutely no idea what is being said in my own home.  It also means that on occasion I say things that make my kids cringe.  Once, a few years ago when my oldest son was away at college, I heard a term that I was unfamiliar with on the television so, I sent him the following text, ” Hi, honey!  What’s a MILF?”  About 30 seconds later, my phone rang and I heard “Who said that to you?!” Slightly startled by his tone, I explained that no one had said it to me, rather I heard it on t.v.  He exhaled and said, ” Oh, my gosh mom.  Okay.”  Then he quickly told me what it meant {it’s an acronym for “mom I’d like to…have sex with”}, then instructed me to change the channel and move along. The embarrassment of it all.

So, the other morning my interest was piqued when I heard loud voices upstairs and one of them said, “Did you just yeet my stuff over the railing?!”  Yeet?  What is a yeet?  I went to the entry of my house, but I did not find a yeet or, at least what I thought might be a yeet. However, I did find a wet towel and swimsuit lying on the floor. Upon further inquiry into the actual definition of yeet, I was told that the meaning is to throw something far with reckless abandon.  I also learned that it is a word that you either love or your hate and, apparently, at least one of my kids loves it while the others hate it. I’ve been instructed never to use it because it’s “cringy” {I think that means embarrassing}.

The Slang of Generation Z

What is this new language of Generation Z and older Gen Alpha’s? Do you feel like you need a decoder just to make it through the daily download from your tween or teen? I’m here for you sis, I have the answers.

slaps:: This venti mocha macchiato with 4 pumps of caramel slaps!! {extra good, outstanding}

pressed:: Mary invited me, Susan, Cindy, Stacey and Lisa over after the game on Thursday and I’m pressed because she knows that I have a dance class after school on Thursday and can’t come. {angry or upset}

sitch::  Mom, here’s the sitch, I want to wear my blue shorts with this cute white shirt, but I think the camo shorts look better, I just don’t like them as much. {situation}

creased:: I got my test back today in science and I’m creased, my teacher took off 5 points because I forgot to put my name on it. {see pressed above}

tea:: Dana spilled scorching hot tea today at lunch about why Mary and John broke up. {gossip}; and

mukbang::  I can’t think of any reason to use this word in a sentence as it makes absolutely no sense to me in practice or in theory. {videotaping yourself eating large amounts of food for fun}

Of course, this is just a small sampling of new slang, but they are the phrases I hear the most. Honestly, I spend most of my time sorting through context clues just trying to figure out where the conversation is going between me and my girls. If this is your life, too, take heart because you’re not alone. I’m constantly confused and here is the kicker -now that I’ve given your some guidance, those kids of ours will no longer use any of these words and we’ll be back asking Google or Alexa to translate for us.

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What is she saying: A Guide to Generation Z Slang. Logo: Houston moms. A photograph of Five smiling teenagers.


  1. I was LAUGHING OUT LOUD reading this! I have a teen and a tween and I’m learning new words all the time. Like “that slaps harder than my parents” …. is funny? And a good thing?! Lol! (Which then throws me into a mom speech about how domestic violence should never be a joke…oh my kids love those speeches.) Great post!

    • Right?! Like, why? Why do they think these words make sense and why are they torturing us with them? Lol. Glad I made you laugh!


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