Your GenZee Guide to Talkin’ the TikTok

Photo: The Tik Tok app is one of the most popular apps in the world, and is dominated by Generation Z users.  JUSTIN SULLIVAN, GETTY IMAGES

File this tidbit of GenZee Jargon in your own personal deep dark mental archive of things you don’t really need to know if you have to ask if you need to know.

05 June 2021 | JORDAN MENDOZA  | USA Today

With the rise of the social media app, no generation has popularized lingo like Generation Z. TikTok has become the go-to place for influencers, and the language used on the platform consistently goes viral, including the term “cheugy,” a way Gen Z makes fun of out-of-date millennial trends.

It’s also worth noting that even though TikTok has brought these terms to more audiences, they’re not new slang. In fact, their origins are much older – most rooted in African American Vernacular English (AAVE), or Black speech separate from standard English

Whether you are a parent, sibling, relative or someone who is still trying to make “fetch” happen, here’s a starter guide to help you understand what words, phrases and even emojis Gen Z is using, no cap. 

Here’s a list of some popular Gen Z terms, their definitions and some examples:

Cheugy: Describes millennials who are trying too hard to be trendy or in style.

Example: “Did you see that older girl trying to do that Tik Tok dance? She’s so cheugy.”

No Cap/Capping: Cap is another word for lie. Saying “no cap” means that you aren’t lying, or if you say someone is “capping,” then you are saying they are lying.

Examples: “I’m actually going to be productive today, no cap.” “You actually got tickets to the Bad Bunny concert? You’re capping.” 

Bop: When a song, or album, is really good.

Example: “Have y’all heard ‘Castaway’ from The Backyardigans? It’s a bop.”

Drip: A cool, sexy or trendy sense of style. Another way of saying swag. When someone has good drip, people will hype them up by having them do a “drip check,” which is showing off your outfit.

Example: “Hey my dude you have some serious drip. Drip check!”

Sheesh: Used to hype someone up when they look good or do something good, like saying damn. The person getting hyped up uses the “ice in my veins” pose made famous by basketball player D’Angelo Russell.

Example: Seeing your friend walk down the aisle at their wedding.“Sheeeeeesh.”

Bet: Yes. Can be said as a question to ask if someone wants to do something or confirm.

Example: “Want to go get some boba?” “Bet?”

Ded/💀: Another lol; something so funny that it killed you. The emoji replaces the laughing emoji.

Example: “That girl that does the seagull noises has me ded💀.”

Stan: When you’re a very big fan of someone famous. Also used when someone does something seen as morally nice and you are giving your approval.

Examples: “My brother loves Megan Thee Stallion. He’s a stan.” Sees video of a guy named Jesse buy his mom a new car. “I stan Jesse.”

Hits different: When something is so uniquely good/better.

Example: “This new Olivia Rodrigo album hits different.”

Iykyk: Stands for “If you know, you know.” Used to describe an inside joke or something a certain community would understand.

Example: “Nothing like the feeling of seeing the elote  man coming down the street. Iykyk.”

Living rent free: Can’t stop thinking about something. Also used as an insult when someone is upset about something.

Examples: “That song lives rent free in my head.” “He hates LeBron James so much, he lives rent free inside his head.”

Periodt: Add emphasis to a point made.

Example: “Beyonce gave us the greatest performance in music history, periodt.”

Simp: When someone publicly pours their heart out for someone, whether they know the person or not, or goes above and beyond for their significant other. 

Example: “Did you see his Instagram post about how much he loves his girlfriend? He’s such a simp.”

Vibe check: Checking someone’s energy or personality. Can be a permanent thing, or just based on something someone does. A pass/no pass situation.


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