Skip to content

10 Fire Gen Z Slang Terms You Need to Know (and How to Use Them)

Feeling a generation gap? Are you struggling to decipher the lingo the youngsters are throwing around? 

This isn't just a generational quirk; it's a reminder that language is constantly evolving! At ICLS, we're passionate about helping people bridge communication gaps, including keeping up with the latest trends. 

So, fear not! This guide will break down ten popular Gen Z phrases and slang terms so you can finally decipher their cryptic conversations (or at least pretend you do). Consider it a crash course in the ever-changing world of language! 

1. Busted:

This doesn't mean something is broken anymore. In Gen Z speak, "busted" means you've been caught doing something wrong, like getting a bad grade or sneaking out past curfew. 

Example: "I left my phone on silent during class and got busted by the teacher." 

2. Shook:

Forget surprised; Gen Z uses "shook" to express a feeling of deep shock, disbelief, or utter amazement. 

Example: "Did you see that dunk? I'm shook!" 

3. Extra:

This one's all about being over-the-top or excessive. It can be used positively for something impressive or negatively for someone being dramatic. 

Example (Positive): "Her Halloween costume was extra this year!"

Example (Negative): "Don't be extra, it's not a big deal." 

4. Salty:

Move over, bitter. "Salty" describes someone feeling upset, jealous, or annoyed, often about someone else's success or good fortune. 

Example: "He's salty because he didn't get the lead role in the play." 

5. Lowkey/Highkey:

These adverbs add emphasis to how you feel about something. "Lowkey" means kinda or slightly, while "highkey" means very or definitely. 

Example: "I'm lowkey stressed about this upcoming exam."

Example: "She's highkey obsessed with that new band." 

6. No Cap/Cap:

"Cap" is short for " lying." Gen Z uses "no cap" to emphasize truthfulness and "cap" to call someone out for lying. 

Example: "This new pizza place is the bomb. No cap!" 

7. Yeet:

This versatile term can be an exclamation of excitement, a way to describe throwing something forcefully, or even a random filler word. 

Example (Excitement): "Yeet, I finally got concert tickets!"

Example (Throwing): "He yeeted the frisbee across the park." 

8. Sus:

Short for "suspicious," this term implies something seems fishy or untrustworthy. 

Example: "Those new neighbors are acting kinda sus." 

9. Fire:

Forget lit, something "fire" is awesome, cool, or impressive. 

Example: "This new song is fire!" 

10. Big Yikes:

This one expresses a strong sense of cringe, awkwardness, or disapproval. 

Example: "Did you see that celebrity's outfit? Big yikes!" 


Bonus Tip: Remember, slang terms evolve quickly. Don't be afraid to ask a Gen Z'er what it means the next time you hear a new word; don't be scared to ask a Gen Z'er what it means. They might give you a "no cap" explanation. 

So, there you have it! With this cheat sheet, you'll be on your way to decoding Gen Z slang and navigating their unique communication. Remember, ironically, using these terms can also be a fun way to connect with the younger generation. But maybe avoid using "yeet" in a job interview...unless you're interviewing for a position at a meme factory. 

Start Your Language Adventure Today!

Let's Talk!

Learn More

Contact us today to discuss your language-learning needs!