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Learning the lingo – a parent’s guide to teenage slang!

The Christmas holidays are upon us once again, and we’re offering you a handy guide to Gen Z slang to help you better understand your teens! We can’t promise that you’ll be seen as ‘straight fire’ any time soon, but you can prove that you’ve totally ‘understood the assignment’ and that you are not ‘cheugy’. 


  • Bet – to agree or approve of something: ‘want to get some pizza? Bet!’
  • Big Yikes – the same as ‘Yikes’ but with some extra feeling
  • Periodt – the teen version of ‘end of discussion’
  • Cap – a lie. Most commonly used to say ‘no cap’ aka no lie. Emoji version:
  • Dead/ded – the modern LOL. “Did you hear what she just said? I’m dead.” Emoji version:
  • Stan – an obsession with or love of someone, a mix of ‘stalker’ and fan’. ‘I totally stan Taylor Swift’
  • Understood the assignment – A TikTok trend describing someone who is going above and beyond with what they’re doing, wearing or saying. ‘Her Halloween costume was amazing. She understood the assignment’
  • Straight fire – trendy or awesome
  • Shook – to be shocked or surprised
  • Iykyk – acronym for ‘if you know, you know…’
  • Living rent free (in my head) – when something or someone is stuck in their head, often in a negative way
  • Passed the vibe check – when a person has positive energy and is seen as cool by whoever is ‘vibe checking’ them.
  • Drag – to make fun of someone
  • Slaps – music that they enjoy, ‘this song slaps!’
  • Sus – short for ‘suspect’ or ‘suspicious’ – when someone is acting strangely or says something suspicious
  • Cheugy – out of fashion, not trendy (usually for clothes, social media trends or slang)
  • Tea – another word for gossip. Most commonly used when saying ‘spill the tea’ or something like ‘What’s the tea from Saturday night?’
  • We move – to move on or carry on regardless of the situation
  • Simp – meant as an insult, usually to a boy, who is particularly sensitive and attentive to someone they like
  • Hits different – when an experience, memory or situation is better, or makes you feel differently, than it usually does. ‘This coffee hits different today’
  • It’s the ________ for me – fill in the blank with a feature/aspect of something or someone that stands out. Can be used both positively and negatively. ‘It’s the big nose for me’ or ‘it’s the hair flick for me”
  • Main character – a trend on TikTok when people act like the main character in a movie or book – to be confident, centre of attention and of interest. ‘She has main character energy’
  • Not me __________ – a way of admitting to a behaviour or feeling in a self-deprecating manner. ‘Not me watching Twilight for the third time this week’
  • Pick me girl/boy – someone who craves the attention and validation from the opposite sex

Bonus emojis:

– feeling shy

✍️ – taking mental notes

 – shocked

You’re now fully armed with the right slang to confidently strike up a conversation with your teen and of course their friends! Big yikes!


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