Top Gen Z Slang Terms to Know

A big part of connecting with kids is entering their world. 

When a missionary is trying to connect with a culture, one thing they do is learn the language of that culture. 

Each generation has a "slang language" and Gen Z is no exception.  If you want to connect with them and enter their world, then it is very helpful to know the slang terms they use. 

Much of Gen Z's slang is tied to the fast-paced, constantly changing environment of social media.  In today's social media culture, slang terms change quickly. 

Here are the latest slang words that are popular with Gen Z (which may have already changed if you're reading this at a later date).


K (Okay)

Salty (to be rude or angry)

Savage (to be bitter or crass)

Yaaaass (used to express enthusiastic support)

Basic (mainstream and trendy, in a dull way)

Throwing shade (insulting)

Shook (to be amazed, shocked, in disbelief)

Lit (something fun and exciting)

Peng (cool)

Eets (short for ‘sweet’)

Peak (when something is going really bad)

LOL (laugh out loud)

Savage (cool)

Ship (relationship)

Bae (another word for babe, referring to one’s partner)

Sup (an abbreviation of “what’s up?”)
Dabbing (a style of dance)

Tea (gossip)

Finstagram (a fake Instagram)

OPT (one true pair, a couple)

Real talk (saying something true)

Firing shots (saying something negative about someone else)

Lit (amazing)

Draking (feeling emotional)

Thirsty (desperate for attention)

Adulting (acting grown up)

Move (a big party)

Milk (needs some help)

Unsult (backhanded compliment)

Fleek (spot on )

CC / Cray Cray (crazy)

Fail (anything not a win)

GOAT (greatest of all time)

Gucci (cool)

Squad (group)

Skurt (go away)

Straight fire (hot or trendy)

And then there's the whole emoji thing...but that's a topic for another day.

If you're over 18, I'm not saying you should try to "be cool" in their eyes by using these terms.  They may snicker and look at you funny if you do.  But what I am saying is this - it will help you communicate more effectively with Gen Z and know what they're saying, when they use these slang words, phrases and abbreviations. 

And when they see you care enough to enter their world, it will open their heart to receive the message or truth you are trying to share with them.