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CEBU, Philippines – 2023 was the year that millennials knew that they were becoming the “older gen” as new words began to unravel before their very eyes from their younger Gen Z and Alpha peers.
Take Nicole Pellegrino for example, a New Yorker and short-form content director for Betches Media who had her sister “tutor” her on the latest lingo, making her feel almost like a “grandma” from what she was hearing.
In a TikTok video that has around 9.5 million views as of this writing, Pellegrino, joined by her Gen Alpha sister and the latter’s best friend, went over the definition of words like “Gyat” or “Preppy” and the appropriate use of emojis in the “new world.”
To no surprise, the wholesome exchange left their audience “shook.” TikTok user Mary & Pickles exclaimed, “I’m 24 going on 100 APPARENTLY.” Another user by the name of Brianna Stumpp said that she didn’t realize how “behind the times” she was.
@nicolepellegrin0 Why did noone tell me slay is out #genalpha #genalphatok #genalphaslang ♬ original sound – Nicole Pellegrino
If you’re struggling to make a conversation with sisters and brothers like Pellegrino’s, don’t worry! We previously made a list of Gen Z and Alpha slang to keep you guided on conversations with them — but, of course, the words just keep on coming!
So here’s more Gen Z and Alpha slang we learned in 2023:
W or L
If you’ve seen that meme of artist Drake with his “Anita Max Wynn” cap, then you’ve probably heard him say “W’s in the chat.”
W is essentially an abbreviation of Win. In the same way, L stands for Lose. Both are used to describe situations or people based on whether or not they’re good or bad.
When a person says “W,” it can mean that a particular event, person, or object, is a positive thing. Sometimes, it is used ironically.
While it’s unclear when the slang was first used, it’s noted that in 2019, a mugshot of American rapper Tyler, The Creator circulated on Reddit for having been used as an official photo in a school yearbook, and multiple Redditors replied to the post with “W’s,” gaining its popularity as a meme among the youth.
In a TODAY.com article, Columbia University associate linguistics professor John McWhorter explained that the slang evolved from the slur “goddamn.”
Nowadays, the youth, most especially younger males, use the term as a reaction when seeing individuals with large butts.
Internet personalities like Kai Cenat and YourRage are known for using and having popularized the slang in their live-streamed conversations and online chats with fans.
The word “bet” has been around since the late 16th century, initially used to describe risks or a thing to be wagered. By the 1850s, the influence of hip-hop culture transformed this word into an affirmation.
Today, Gen Z and Alpha use “bet” as a new and nonchalant version of “okay.”
The younger generation, having been influenced by role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons, use the term “lore” as a way to describe one’s personal background and unique real-life stories or experiences.
In 2022, Tumblr user propalitet posted about how fathers casually tell their families about “crazy lore” during somber conversations. The post has more than 186,000 notes as of Sunday, February 4.
The same post pushed the online TikTok community to also coin the term, “Dad Lore.”
While initially used as an abbreviation of “mid-grade,” a term often used by cannabis users in the West, “mid” has found itself as the go-to slang for calling something “boring” or “mediocre.”
The modern usage of the word gained its popularity from viral discussions on artist Drake’s album Certified Lover Boy in September 2021. Multiple TikTokers used “mid” as a reaction to Drake’s songs.
The “griddy” is a popular slang among young athletes and gamers alike as it’s known as a victory dance.
Originally invented by Louisiana native Allen Davis, who also goes by the moniker Lil’ Griddy, the griddy went viral when Lousiana State University athlete Justin Jefferson performed it after scoring a touchdown in a match against the University of Texas in 2019.
Riding on the fame of the griddy, popular online video games like Fortnite added the dance to their roster of “emotes” or character actions.
Jumping off from the slang’s hip-hop reinvention, “slaps” is still being used to describe something outstanding.
Unlike its literal definition, most Gen Z and Alpha youth use the term when referring to delicious food or good music. Its closest “millennial counterpart” is the use of the word “vibes” to refer to a thing with positive features.
When combined with the word “harder,” the slang compares two or more things based on their level of excellence. For example, in the phrase “this burger slaps harder than the burrito,” what’s being relayed is that the burger tastes better than the burrito. – Rappler.com