Keeping up with Gen Z: your guide to their slang

A crash course to understanding the younger generation’s lingo

Kathrine Hamdan 3 Min Read

You might have found yourself hearing the most bizarre words in 2022. But have no fear, Frankly is here to explain all there is to know about Gen Z slang. And make no mistake, confusion around slang has been passed down from generation to generation, all the way from Boomers to Millennials. 

Words like ‘mood,’ ‘on fleek,’ and ‘yas,’ which were widely used a year ago, are now old news. So, here’s a crash course to help you keep up with Gen Z lingo. 

Trigger warning: these terms may seem ‘wack’ at first, but we’re here to clear that up for you in hopes you don’t seem ‘cheugy.’ Don’t worry, hold your Google search, you’ll know what those words mean by the time you’re done reading this.

  1. Cop/copped (to get a hold of or purchase): No, this does not refer to the police. If you’re a sneakerhead, you may use this to recognize your friend’s new Jordans, saying: ‘Oh, you finally copped those new 5s!’ Or if you’re a car enthusiast, you could say to your friend who bought the one you had your eye on, “Oh, you copped that Range Rover I told you I wanted”.
  1. Outta pocket (a wild or extreme statement or action): Elon Musk’s tweets are the perfect example: “Now I’m going to buy McDonald’s and fix all of the ice cream machines,” he tweeted. Now that statement is really ‘outta pocket’.
  1. Bet (another way of saying ‘okay’): Instead of wasting all those precious seconds typing ‘okay,’ just use ‘bet’ – it’s one less letter you have to type. 
  1. Drip (refers to someone’s extravagant or expensive style): Remember Robert De Niro’s iconic blue robe in ‘The Irishman?’ Now that’s some real drip.
  1. Snatched (something perfect, ’on point,’ or tight): If your friends don’t compliment you with “Your waist is so snatched right now,” or “Your Armani suit looks so snatched on you,” are they really your friends? It’s 2022, and we are surrounding ourselves with the best of the best.
  1. Cap/no cap (a lie/not a lie): If you ever feel someone may be lying, say, on a mediocre deal that supposedly brought them in millions, you automatically have the right to catch them out on it by saying: “Cap!” However, if they say, “No cap!” in defense and present the evidence, they are, therefore, not capping. 
  1. Bussin – respectfully (when something is great): Mama’s molokheya? Bussin, respectfully. (Molokheya is a Middle Eastern dish made from the leaves of Corchorus olitorius, also used to make rubber).
  1. Sus (suspicious): that friend who sits with the group they always complain about – that’s sus. Or that colleague that takes your food from the shared fridge and can never admit it? Sus. Very sus. 
  1. Stan (to support): You want to skip that meeting? We stan. You want to buy that Succulent plant that will probably die in the next two days because your gardening skills are nowhere near your mother’s? We stan.
  1. Sending me (finding something funny): “This article by Frankly is sending me.”
  1. Low-key/high-key (moderately or highly): Both terms may be used in the same sentence, as I’ve done so myself in the past while working on university projects, saying: “I low-key, high-key want to drop out.”
  1. Take an L (to take a loss or lose): Although this term is mostly used online or in video games, it’s easy to recognize an L in your day-to-day life. If you were rejected by someone that pursued you first – sorry, that’s an L.
  1. It’s the (blank) for me: This phrase tends to arise when people show audacity or uncivilized behavior in certain situations and is used as a comment on that particular situation. In the case of an angry customer attempting to refund an item using an expired receipt, one might say: “It’s the audacity for me.” 
  1. Cheugy (cringe): There’s always that one employee who is consistently trying to befriend the boss. Maybe you’re the boss and you know exactly what I mean. Yeah, that’s what we Gen Zer’s call cheugy behavior.
  1. Lives in my head rent free (a memory that lives in your head forever): The moment Liz Truss said, “I am a fighter, not a quitter” in the House of Commons, then resigned in the next few days, lives in my head rent free. 

Congratulations, you are now fluent in Gen Z slang (for now).