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Yeet! 10 Gen Z Slang Terms Decoded

Every generation has its own way of communicating through slang and trends. I was born on the cusp of Generation X. In my generation, when a boy liked a girl he would give her his jacket or class ring, and we used the phrase ‘going together.’ We used to keep our 411 (information) on the DL (down-low), chill at the crib with our homies, and when it was time to bounce, we made sure we looked fly.

Today, I learned from my daughter and her friends that I have an entirely new vocabulary to adopt. I also heard about the latest courting trend. When a Generation Z boy likes a girl at school, he takes her scrunchy. Yes, I'm referring to the bunched-up fabric hair ties worn in the 1980s and ’90s. What does a boy do with the scrunchy, you may wonder? He wears it on his wrist as a symbol he is taken.

I found this phenomenon hilarious. Who knew a scrunchy would take on such deep meaning? All jokes aside, in today's fast-paced, screen-obsessed world, knowing how to communicate with my 12-year-old daughter is crucial. So, I did what any other desperate Gen Xer parent would do. I googled “Gen Z slang.” I mean, we were the first generation to use computers, right?

I encourage parents to pay attention to their kids’ conversations and to look at their social media accounts and text messages. Get familiar with their slang, abbreviations, and trends. While most are harmless, some can be a red flag for parents. Below is a list of 10 harmless words that I found and verified with my Generation Zer. Can you use them in a sentence?

1. Cringy - Something that makes one cringe, awkward.
2. Basic - Refers to someone who is unoriginal and only follows mainstream trends.
3. Woke - Aware of social injustice.
4. Spilling the Tea - The act of gossiping.
5. Yeet! - An exclamation of excitement.
6. Lit! - Amazing, awesome.
7. Gucci - Cool, good.
8. Savage - Wild or harsh.
9. Fire - Trendy.
10. HMU - An acronym for "hit me up," which could refer to hanging out, texting, or talking on the phone. 

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About Adrianna and Ryan Walden

About Adrianna and Ryan  Walden

Ryan and Adrianna Walden have been married for 17 years. The two met when she was working for an arena football team in Norfolk where he was playing football. Ryan is a service coordinator with the Chesapeake Early Intervention Program and Adrianna is a Licensing Specialist for Children's Programs with the Department of Education. Both enjoyed teaching CHKD’s "Happiest Baby" class together for over a decade. Together they have one daughter, who despite early health issues, is now a thriving and happy teen. The Walden's have a passion for working with children and married couples.