How to Speak Gen Z & 10 words that are lit rn!

How to Speak Gen Z & 10 words that are lit rn!

Gen Z (born 1995-2009) have had their formative years heavily shaped by digital devices, social networks and global platforms.  As the most global youth culture the world has ever seen, they have adapted and evolved the use of social media platforms, created a host of unwritten rules about how to use them, and are creating a global Gen Z lexicon faster than we can keep up with.

10 Gen Z words that are lit rn:

While Millennials thought they were savvy writing words like “l8r” and “gr8” to save on characters when texting on their Nokia 3310s, the global Gen Zs are creating a new youth language at a rapid pace.

Based on a series of in-depth interviews with Gen Z, here are 10 Gen Z words that are lit rn:

  1. Lit – current word used to describe things that are “really awesome, really cool”
  2. Rn – used in texting and on social media to say “right now”.
  3. All g – common phrase used to communicate something is “all good”.
  4. Salty – used to describe when someone is moody.
  5. Tbh – to be honest – originally used on Facebook in 2011, this has now become spoken vocabulary.
  6. Dab – a dance move where you put your head down to the left while you point both arms up towards the right.
  7. Shipping – when you think two people would make a great couple you “ship” them and make a “shipping name” which is their names merged in some way. For example, if you were shipping Jack and Emily their shipping name could be “Jackily”.
  8. Lol – stands for ‘laugh out loud’ (not ‘lots of love’ as some Baby Boomers may have interpreted) – and yet many Gen Zs will now say it rather than actually laughing out loud.
  9. Throwing shade – when you’re speaking negatively about someone, you are “throwing shade”.
  10. Fam – not only your ‘family’ but used to describe your close friends.

So in summary, this means tbh, rn you want to be lit but not salty – all g?

A point to note, like in any language, culture and communication, there are nuances, subtext and context which affects how and when words are used.  Authenticity matters, and this language which has been created in their shared community doesn’t gain traction when used out of context.

Check out this video where Claire Madden explains more about how to speak Gen Z!


Want to know more?

For managers, leaders, educators and parents who want to understand more about the world of Gen Z, take part in the Generation Z Online Masterclass at

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To enquire about Claire Madden presenting at your next event or conference, please contact us.


By | 2017-09-28T02:42:10+11:00 April 11th, 2017|Blog|0 Comments

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