If you hang around with the Gen Z crowd long enough, you’re likely to hear the word ‘slay’ being used with excited tones. Say it around millennials and it’s going to conjure up images of weird true crime stories coming true. So we’re not being dramatic when we say that a word, used colloquially till date to mean something, might have now been highjacked to mean something completely different. We tread with caution. Oh, by the way, ‘slay’ has now become equivalent to gorgeous or jaw-dropping and has nothing to do with a slasher series. With the Gen Z crowd taking over the work force, working millennials can feel quite at sea and extremely confused when their Gen Z coworker starts talking in a language that seems to have only a vague usage of grammar. But it’s 2023, and like every other past generation, Gen Z has developed its own set of lingo and slang that have taken over the internet.
The slang are now highly used in pop culture, and quite cohesively. If you have watched recent shows like Never Have I Ever, Sex Education, or movies like Do Revenge, you will notice how these characters are talking in a very Gen Z way obviously targeted at a younger audience.
So if you want to be a cool millennial who wishes to be the hero of the Gen Z gang in the office, scroll down and learn the meaning of some of the most widely used Gen Z lingo so that you can stop the FOMO.
No, it doesn’t mean the water is dripping from the tap or anything of the sort. Popularised by hip-hop culture, drip means someone’s outfit is really trendy and on point. For a clear reference, one can say BTS J-Hope‘s drip is always on fire.
2. No cap
It may sound like it has something to do with the caps lock key, but it simply means the person who used these words is not lying and is trying to convince you to not doubt them. Last we checked, this was not admissible in court and you might be cross examined even after you’ve dramatically said this.
3. Rent was due
— 𝓪⁷ (@JlNSONYEONDAN) October 16, 2022
Popularly used for K-pop idols, this slang, like others, has nothing to do with anyone’s landlord or rent. The phrase “rent was due” or “rent is due” is used to describe a moment when an individual is putting in earnest energy, doing their absolute best, as if their life depends on it. The tweet should give you context.
A gift from the queer community, this slang refers to someone who has grabbed all the attention in the room with their fashion and style. The Internet loves to use it to describe celebrity red-carpet moments. Often used with the nail polish emoji. No actual servers were harmed in the making of this term.
5. It’s giving
it’s giving pic.twitter.com/02IVtXozoU
— siri ✨ (@znnbabies) March 2, 2023
It’s giving or giving XYZ is used to describe the aesthetic or vibe of someone or something. For example, Maddy from Euphoria is giving modern Regina George energy. Think of it as a simile but Gen Z like to allow for some lateral thinking, so instead of giving it to your straight up, they chose this very roundabout way to say, ‘Hey, this is exactly like that.”
6. Daddy/ Mommy/ Mother
Cough, cough… it has nothing to do with any sort of parental figure representation. If you are active on Twitter, you might know that the term is highly used to describe a celeb who is sexually attractive. Currently, The Last of Us star Pedro Pascal is considered the daddiest of all on the Internet. Yes, the word daddiest is showing up as a grammatical error in our screens but apparently it’s all the rage now!?!
JOON JUST LAUGHED AND SAID “YES DADDY YES”?????? pic.twitter.com/ahRyT6jTie
— lex⁷ (@prodK0YA) December 6, 2022
Another person who has highly popularised the term is RM of BTS, who is often considered the same by his fandom. It all started when he was on Station Head to promote his new album and dropped the bomb of these three words: YES DADDY YES, which went viral on Twitter with over 100k tweets.
The same goes with the mommy term to describe a female celebrity like Queen Bee or Rihanna. The term has also been used as ‘That’s so mommy or daddy of him or her’ or ‘she mothered the hell out of this song.’
Dear millennials, read that again.
7. Material Girl
Back in 1989, when queen Madonna released the song Material Girl, she would have never thought Gen Z people would make the lyrics, their lifestyle. Don’t go with the gender of the term; anyone and everyone can be a material girl. Well anyone who makes their own money, loves to shop for materialistic things, and loves themselves.
Widely used to describe a yummy meal or something on the menu that you thought was going to be average but turns out to be extremely good.
No one is getting Chris Rock-ed here: the term slap is very similar to bussin, but in a lighter tone, and can be used to describe everything good. One can simply say Rihanna’s Super Bowl performance slapped hard, which means it was really great.
11. Skrrt / Yeet
Very similar to each other, “yeet” and “skrrt” are frequently used in the rap scene. It can be referred to in a variety of situations, but it most frequently refers to moments when something dramatically changes course, such as when a conversation becomes really awkward or you get overly enthusiastic about something. For reference:
“Where were you at the party last night???”
“Sorry bro, I saw my ex and had to yeet skrrt outta there real fast.”
The SNL performance with this slang by Timothee Chalamet and Pete Davidson is considered a Gen Z culture reset.
Describing something or anyone who had a glow-up or has done something that causes ‘yass queen finger-snapping’ on your screen. Often used by the LGBTQ+ community, the term started as a replacement for fancy and has now become an internet phenomenon to describe something with lots of filters and manipulation going on. To explain it to any Indian person, you can refer to a virgin mojito as nothing but a yassified shikanji.
13. Ate and left no crumbs
In essence, this is a compliment for a job well done. You might turn to your friend and exclaim, “They ate that,” for instance, if someone has nailed a particularly gruelling dance sequence. It can also be shortened to “they ate,” “left no crumbs,” or merely “they ate” (since, as we established, they ate it all). In the fashion world, it’s fair to say that Bella Hadid ate everyone up on the runway. Maybe she was hungry?
14. Math is not mathing
No numbers are involved when using this term; it simply means the plan one person is using is not going to give perfect results or something that is uncharacteristically in direct contrast to the values being propagated. For example, if your office pantry poster is talking about mental health issues, but your boss is still forcing their opinions on you, that’s where math is not mathing anymore.