01 Nov It’s giving bilingual: Your Ultimate Gen Z Slang Translator
As the only Gen Z writers at RM, Alanna’s and my communication style lives rent-free in the minds of our ignorant yet endearing colleagues.
So, at long last, we deemed it time to spill the tea.
And lucky for you, we believe in inclusive slays. Meaning a crash course in Gen Z slang has just earned itself a spot on your bingo card for 2023.
From here on out, we’ll be giving dictionary. So you can walk away from your next interaction with Gen Z friends, family and colleagues knowing you ate – and left no crumbs.
(If you’re not following us so far – and scratching your head in bemusement – you’re definitely in the right place. Read on!)
Let’s start with some basic phrases
Casually sprinkle these babies into everyday conversation – and your Gen Z friends and colleagues will know exactly what you mean!
A list of possible, expected or likely scenarios.
Sarah: Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce are in a relationship. Can you believe it?
Alanna: That was not on my bingo card for 2023.
Succeeding under pressure or when the outcome is uncertain.
Alanna: We thought we wouldn’t make the deadline. But Tehya clutched it.
In isolation, ‘it’s giving’ describes something that looks very good. But when preceding a noun, this term likens the subject to the object.
Alanna: How good is this blog Michelle just wrote?
Sarah: It’s giving Shakespeare.
Describing something that occupies your thoughts constantly.
Sarah: The Beckham documentary is living rent-free in my mind.
Out of pocket
Describing something that was said or done that was unexpected, nonsensical, not asked for or simply too far.
Sarah: I can’t believe Michael said that about Dwight.
Alanna: Yeah, that was totally out of pocket!
To show agreement or approval, no need for further explanation or discussion.
Alanna: Should we do a coffee run?
Sarah: Say less.
Sending me/sent me
Reacting to something that made you laugh.
Sarah: Did you hear my burp in the meeting?
Alanna: That was so funny, it was sending me.
Understood the assignment
When someone does an exceptional job, meeting expectations.
Alanna: Rihanna’s outfit at the Met Gala was amazing.
Sarah: Agreed. She understood the assignment.
What else is on the menu?
Ok, we can’t explain our vocab’s food and drink obsession. It just is, okay?
An empowering compliment to describe a success. See also: Slay.
Sarah: Did you hear Troye Sivan’s new album?
Alanna: Yes! He ate.
Expressing admiration for something exceptional.
Alanna: That outfit you wore to the Halloween party? Chef’s kiss!
Left no crumbs
When someone really ate.
Sarah: She ate… and left no crumbs.
Someone cooked here
Recognising that someone was taught or influenced to act a certain way by someone else.
Alanna: He brought me flowers on the first date!
Sarah: Someone cooked here.
Gossip or inside information.
Sarah: I got all the details from Vikki last night.
Alanna: Oh my god, spill the tea!
We don’t even know
Okay, we admit it: these do sound kind of violent. But we promise they’re (mostly) positive!
Catch these hands
When someone does something you don’t like, it makes you mad and you want to fight them. (Rarely used seriously.)
Alanna: The client came back with an eighth round of edits.
Sarah: He can catch these hands.
A reaction to something hilarious.
Sarah: I accidentally sent the file to my mum.
In a chokehold
When you’re incredibly obsessed with something.
Misguided Gen Z client: I am going to use ChatGPT for everything from now on! It has me in a chokehold.
Killing it/killed it
Performing exceptionally well or excelling.
Alanna: Did you hear about Veronica’s client presentation?
Sarah: Yeah, she’s been killing it!
Describing something incredibly good (especially music or food).
Sarah: What did you bring for lunch?
Alanna: Pesto pasta. It slaps.
An empowering compliment to acknowledge someone’s impeccable work, style, confidence or job well done.
Alanna: The client loved my article!
So there you have it. Your ultimate Gen Z translator – which slaps if we do say so ourselves. So study up! You’ll understand the assignment in no time.
Sincerest of slays,
Sarah and Alanna