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The Student News Site of Tenafly High School

The Echo

The Student News Site of Tenafly High School

The Echo

A Teacher’s Guide to Teenager Slang – 2024 Edition


If you ever feel excluded by teenagers because of their uses of modern, hip slang, this is for you. Each generation has shared experiences and “inside jokes,” and I am here to update the older generations on Gen Z’s (partly Gen Alpha’s) slang. For Gen Z readers, if you are simply not a social media user, read this guide to find out what your peers mean when they say certain words, like “Skibidi.”



“I am cooked,” said every AP Exam taker. Meaning I am done, this is the end of me, that I won’t be able to overcome this. However, the phrase “I cooked” conveys the opposite, meaning I aced that. 



Similar to “ I cooked,” this word means that you completed a task successfully. “You ate that,” said her friend after dressing up for prom, which means she did a great job putting together the makeup, hair, and dress. 



Again, it’s another alternative for hyping people up when they do something amazingly. “Girl, you slayed” means that she did the task beautifully. 


Locked in

“I am locked in,” also said every AP Exam taker. To lock in, symbolically, is to lock yourself in and work on something with high and long-term focus. If one were to study a lot for a test, they would say they are “locked in.”



Upon the development of ChatGPT, the word “chat” has also become part of teenage slang. It’s difficult to explain the meaning, but some say “Chat, am I cooked” in real life, sarcastically referring to asking ChatGPT if they are outdone by the others. Or when Youtubers use it during streaming or in videos to refer to their viewing audience, “chat” is used. 


What’s the word 

“What’s the word tonight?” is another way to ask: what are we doing tonight?


What the… (flip, nut)

Basically they’re Gen Z alternatives to “what the freak!” I have no idea how they originated, but my guess is that those are the appropriate curses to say instead of the hard F. 



Be Freaking For Real. Are you serious?! Especially in texts, we like to abbreviate, so, instead of typing out an entire sentence, we send “BFFR,” which is often paired with a “bruh.” 



This is usually used to show your disbelief, surprise, or frustration at something or someone. However, it can also be used as a replacement to “bro.”


My bad 

This is Gen Z’s alternative to saying sorry. 

“Why would you do that?” — “My bad.”



The phrase “That’s so clutch” is used for when something comes in handy or by chance. An example of when it could be used is when a basketball player scores a last-minute basket and wins the game for their team. People would describe his shot as “clutch.”


There are always these pictures of yourself, particularly in group scenarios,  where you would think, “Wow, I look good.” In Gen Z terms, you mogged everyone; you outdid everyone appearance-wise. Yet it can also be used as a teasing: “You are mogged”—the other person looks better than you. 



A technique that makes your jawline appear sharper by putting the tongue to the roof of your mouth. Great for a side profile check, which is a trend where people show off their perfect side profiles. 



If you were mogged, you might want to start “looksmaxing.” Start putting on those gym gains, start mewing, and start looking better. 



This is an abbreviation for charisma; it originated from the  “ris” part of the word. The phrase “W rizz” is usually used for when someone is talking to a person to whom they’re attracted.  You can also “rizz up” someone, which means to make them find you attractive or charismatic. 


Skibidi toilet 

As part of the Gen Alpha slang, this has entirely influenced social media. It originated from the YouTube account “DaFuq!?Boom!,” a video series of animations of a human head emerging from a toilet. It doesn’t hold any meaning. It’s more like a “meme” that we teenagers with rotten senses of humor somehow found funny. Rather than saying “on God,”(for real) some say “on Skibidi.” 



“What the sigma” is basically teenagers’ ironic alternative to saying “What the heck.” This can be used in several ways. While it’s supposed to be the 18th letter of the Greek alphabet, teenagers also use it to describe people, especially men, who are successful, respectful, or top-tier. Yet people often misuse it, labeling the wrong “sigmas.” 


Ultimately, all these slang words and phrases will become outdated, but for now, they are the slang of this generation. Hopefully, this gave you some insight into what we teenagers are saying these days. While some of these are not used on a daily basis, they are ironically some of the most commented-upon words on the internet today. 

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About the Contributor
Zoe Sun
Zoe Sun, Staff Writer
Zoe Sun ('25) enjoys reading current events and is excited to write pieces focusing on student life, entertainment, and current events for The Echo.