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The slang you need to know to stay up-to-date as ‘rizz’ is chosen as word of the year – and the dated phrases making you sound old


Struggling to stay up Gen Z’s ever-changing list of slang words? You’re probably not alone.

This morning, Oxford Languages announced that ‘rizz’ has been crowned as the ‘word of the year’ for 2023.

The term, which was popularised by actor Tom Holland in an interview with Buzzfeed in May, is internet slang for ‘romantic appeal’ or charm. 

Other contenders for the coveted title included ‘Swiftie’, ‘beige flag’, ‘situationship’ and ‘de-influencing’. 

As a result of these terms suddenly sky-rocketing in popularity, other more well-known slang terms have since fallen out of fashion – as older generations’ vernacular is slowly being phased out by Gen Alpha.

And just as you get used to a phrase – be it ‘slay’, ‘yeet’ or ‘bet’ – it’s suddenly out of favour.

Here, FEMAIL looks at what words to phase out of your vocabulary if you want to be down with kids – and what to work into conversation… 

Struggling to stay up Gen Z's ever-changing list of slang words? You're probably not alone. Stock image used

Struggling to stay up Gen Z’s ever-changing list of slang words? You’re probably not alone. Stock image used

WHAT’S OUT?

Using the words ‘slay’, ‘bet’ and the laughing emoji makes you look old, according to Generation Alpha.

The slang terms, popular with Gen Z (those aged 13-26), are ‘out’ and newer terms including ‘GYAT’, ‘preppy’ and the crying emoji are in. 

Influencer Nicole Pellegrino, 31, from New Jersey recently shared a clip to Tiktok speaking to her ‘Gen Alpha’ sister and her ‘bestie’.

Gen Alpha, those currently aged 13 and under, believe that when texting, if you laugh you should send the crying emoji instead. 

‘If something is funny, you do the crying emoji, no one laughs by laughing,’ Nicole’s sister explains in the clip.

The skull is used if you’re insulting someone, as a joke,’ she adds.

Here, FEMAIL listed the words the girls and commenters claim are getting overhauled, as well as other beloved Gen Z staples which are likely on the chopping block:

Slay: A broad term that can casually mean ‘good job’ or also refer to the ostentatious and/or fabulous quality of something.

Bet: A term of agreement, meaning ‘OK’ or ‘for sure’.

Bougie: Meaning dressed in a posh or sophisticated way, and living a fancy lifestyle.

Yeet: To violently and forcefully throw something.

Extra: Over the top, and deeply dramatic.

Shook: Shaken, bewildered, surprised

WHAT’S IN?

Experts from Oxford University Press said the shortlist of eight words and phrases this year were chosen to most reflect the mood, ethos or preoccupations of 2023.

Although rizz’s mainstream popularity is thought to have ballooned after Holland used the term, the word is widely credited with having been introduced by YouTuber and Twitch streamer Kai Cenat, who uses it with his friends.

Meanwhile, online language learning platform Preply earlier this year released their survey of the most used slang in 2023, in the US.

The below terms are a mixture of results from both, as well as terms dubbed to be of importance by Gen Alpha on social media: 

'Rizz', which was popularised by actor Tom Holland (pictured this year) in an interview with Buzzfeed in May, is internet slang for 'romantic appeal' or charm

‘Rizz’, which was popularised by actor Tom Holland (pictured this year) in an interview with Buzzfeed in May, is internet slang for ‘romantic appeal’ or charm

Rizz: Internet slang for romantic charm or appeal

Swiftie: An enthusiastic fan of the singer Taylor Swift

De-influencing: The practice of discouraging people from buying particular products, or of encouraging people to reduce their consumption of material goods, esp. via social media.

Beige flag: A character trait that indicates that a partner or potential partner is boring or lacks originality; (also) a trait or habit, esp. of a partner or potential partner, viewed as extremely characteristic, but not distinctly good or bad.

Heat dome: A persistent high-pressure weather system over a particular geographic area, which traps a mass of hot air below it.

Prompt: An instruction given to an artificial intelligence program, algorithm, etc., which determines or influences the content it generates.

Parasocial: Designating a relationship characterised by the one-sided, unreciprocated sense of intimacy felt by a viewer, fan, or follower for a well-known or prominent figure (typically a media celebrity), in which the follower or fan comes to feel (falsely) that they know the celebrity as a friend.

Experts from Oxford University Press said the shortlist of eight words and phrases this year were chosen to most reflect the mood, ethos or preoccupations of 2023. One of the terms was 'Swiftie'

Experts from Oxford University Press said the shortlist of eight words and phrases this year were chosen to most reflect the mood, ethos or preoccupations of 2023. One of the terms was ‘Swiftie’

Situationship: A romantic or sexual relationship that is not considered to be formal or established.

Sus: Short for ‘suspicious’, popularised after the game Among Us which was often played during Covid lockdowns

Salty: Miffed or offended

Cap: Implying a lie or mistruth

Bussin’: Delicious 

Sheesh: An expression of validation and delight when you see something impressive or cool. It has also been used to express surprise, more similarly to the traditional understanding of the word.

Drip: Exceptional style.

Simp: Usually refers to a man in a relationship with a woman, where he is deeply submissive to his other half.

Gyat: A term used to describe a person’s curvaceous behind (girl your a** thick)

Rizzler: Someone who is a good at picking up women

Skibidi: Derived from the YouTube animated series Skibidi Toilet, used in gaming to describe someone who is evil or bad

Fanum tax: Someone who steals your food, comes from a creator named Fanum who was often seen grabbing bites of his friends’ meals

Preppy: Wearing pink or pastel

Vanilla girl: Wearing collegiate style clothes

Crying emoji: Something is funny

Skull emoji: Something is funny in a jokey mean way 

HOW TO BOND WITH YOUR GEN Z CO-WORKERS 

What does it mean when the work experience at the office winces at a ‘common L’? And where exactly is a funny joke someone made ‘sending’ them?

If you’re confused on what the younger clan at your office is saying, communication experts at Movchan Agency have shared a guide for some need-to-know terms.

Delulu — delusional

Example: ‘You’re being delulu if you think the company will increase your salary after three months of working here’. 

Common W or L — common win/loss (a way to agree or disagree with someone’s point or action)

Example:

– And then my boss said she trusts me enough not to micromanage me!

– Well, that’s a common W for her.

To serve — to look good

Example: ‘Her new outfit looks stunning on her, she’s serving’. 

What does it mean when the work experience at the office winces at a 'common L'? And where exactly is a funny joke someone made 'sending' them? Stock image used

What does it mean when the work experience at the office winces at a ‘common L’? And where exactly is a funny joke someone made ‘sending’ them? Stock image used

It’s sending me — it’s very funny

Example: ‘The meme you sent to our group chat has sent me’.

Slap (adj) — something is very cool

Example: ‘Your performance slaps this year, so I decided to give you a bigger bonus’.

It’s giving — comparison to something

Example: ‘This idea is giving plagiarism, babe. Do you have anything else?’

Dupe — duplicate

Example: ‘With this workload, there is no way I am going on vacation. I’ll just take a bath, drink a cocktail, and do some skincare — this is my vacation dupe’.

Menty b — mental breakdown

Example: ‘If you don’t have a rest from work it will lead to burnout. We don’t want any menty b’s, do we?’

Side eye — a judgemental look that you verbalize by saying ‘side eye’

Example: ‘Gossiping about co-workers? Really…side eye!’

The brain isn’t braining — something logically doesn’t add up, I don’t understand it.

Example: ‘I literally don’t have the capacity to process what you’ve just said. My brain isn’t braining’.



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